Tag: Guest Reviews

Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Posted May 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #4
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars


Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune--except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness--until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.

Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.

When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it.

Two years ago Viola’s husband died and she found out that her marriage of 23 years had been bigamous.  She retreated to her brother’s home trying to deal with the emotional aftermath.  She would have thought that she’d be over it all by now but when she heads to Bath for her grandson’s christening she’s inundated with her family.  Even the Westcott family, which she was never legally a part of, shows her love and kindness.  She knows she’s horrible for not appreciating it more but she finds it smothering.  She leaves Bath in a hired carriage (many family members had offered their carriages and servants but she’d refused) and just her luck, the thing breaks down.  She ends up in a little village overnight and who does she meet there but the man she’d fallen in love with 14 years earlier.

Marcel is on his way home to deal with family issues when he sees Viola.  He knows that she’s no longer married and though he knows he shouldn’t, he approaches her.  She told him to “go away” years earlier and he had abided by her wishes.  He knew she was married but he couldn’t help flirting with her.  Now she’s free and he suggests they spend the day at the town fair.  Viola agrees and has more fun with Marcel then she’d had in a very long time – even when she was married.  They end up spending the night together and Marcel suggests that they run away together for a couple of weeks.  Viola knows it’s not proper but she agrees.

Marcel and Viola spend time at his cottage in the country and they have a great time but reality soon comes crashing down on them in the form of their families and to save Viola’s reputation Marcel says that they’re betrothed.  Now it’s back to reality and Viola has to figure out how she can get out of the betrothal.  She loves Marcel but knows he doesn’t love her. She thinks he’s just a womanizer and not good marriage material but there’s a whole lot more behind Marcel’s outer core than Viola knows.

This was another lovely novel by Mary Balogh.  She’s become one of my favorite historical romance authors as she writes so well and always gives me a good story.

I’ve loved reading about the Westcott family as they’ve gone through the scandal of what their father/husband did to them.  Finding out that she was never married to her husband was a shock to Viola and I think she’d been in a bit of a depressive state for two years.  I know I would have been!  When she sees Marcel again she thinks he’s just as handsome as he was 14 years earlier.  She’d fallen in love with him back then but knew nothing could come of it because she was married and not a cheater.  To be with him again easily brought those feelings back and she quickly fell in love with him.  I could see how she would fall hard and fast for Marcel.  He had a dry sense of humor and though he held himself back some I could tell that he truly cared for Viola.

Marcel had once been a loving husband and father to his twins but after the death of his wife he left his kids with their aunt and only visited them twice a year.  He had become someone he didn’t recognize, or particularly like, but that changed when he was with Viola.  She made him want to be a better person and I loved reading about his transformation throughout the book.  Balogh did a wonderful job of bringing him to being more “human.”

The book included characters from previous Westcott books and that was awesome.  We got to see how the couples from books 1-3 were faring and I loved reading about the whole family.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens next with this wonderful, loving family.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wescott

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate Baxter

Posted May 17, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate BaxterReviewer: Tracy
The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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three-stars

Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today's hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!

Bearing His NameMeeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

Owned by the LionKeir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.

No Need Fur LoveMoving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …

Bearing His Name by Eve Langlais

Jade sent snarky “Congratulations you’re a father!” cards to a whole slew of men in the same extended family.  Her sister Ruby is pregnant by one of them, but she has no idea which one.  She was at a Halloween party and only knows that the guy was dressed as Zeus – as were a bunch of men there.  When Ark heads to Jade and Ruby’s apartment he’s not sure if he’s the father of Ruby’s baby or not but he hopes he isn’t because it looks like Jade is his mate.

This story was just ‘OK” imho.  I liked Jade and Ruby but Ark made me crazy.  He pretty much stalked Jade and would break into her apartment and watch her sleeping. That is the definition of creepy stalker in my book.  I think this was all supposed to be forgivable because they were mates and he just wanted to be with her, etc.  It wasn’t.  He was also so arrogant it made me want to hit him. Because of his attitude I never really got into the romance – probably because I kept thinking Jade could do better.

Owned by the Lion by Milly Taiden

Keir knew immediately upon meeting Ally that she was his mate but he didn’t tell her.  He wants to woo her but she hates him something fierce, for some reason that is never explained.  He finally gets her to talk to him and she finally sees he’s a good guy.  Too bad all of his many women keep coming around.  Of course it’s hard to get away from them when they are literally everywhere they go.

This story wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great for me either.  I couldn’t understand why Keir didn’t just come out and tell Ally she was his mate.  It truly would have solved all the issues because of how mates in this world are so devoted to each other.  She would have known that the other women he’d been with previously now meant nothing to him.  Of course then their wouldn’t have been a story so…  Because of Ally “hating” Keir so much at first it was hard for me to get into their relationship, unfortunately.

No Need Fur Love by Kate Baxter

Mia is out for a one-night stand so that she can get pregnant. Her father, who is the leader of their wood nymph band says that if she’s produces a child then he’ll let her in more of the leadership issues.  Mia meets Owen at the first bar she goes to and it hardly takes any time at all before they’re leaving with each other.

Owen is at the bar wishing he could have the type of relationship that his Alpha has with his new mate when Mia walks in.  He knows immediately she’s his mate but after their night together she disappears.

This was a cute story.  I liked Mia and Owen a lot.  It wasn’t insta-love but pretty close.  Owen was all about the mate bond but Mia didn’t feel it the same way so that brought a little tension into the mix which was nice.

The story also involved Mia’s crazy dad and his hatred of Owen’s wolf pack which brought even more tension into the story which I liked.

Overall not a fabulous anthology for me but at least somewhat entertaining.

 

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Lightning Review: Highland Valentine by C.A. Szarek

Posted May 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Lightning Review: Highland Valentine by C.A. SzarekReviewer: Tracy
Highland Valentine (Highland Secrets #4) by C.A. Szarek
Series: Highland Secrets #4
Published by Paper Dragon Publishing
Publication Date: March 31, 2017
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 105
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three-stars

A Highland Secrets Story!

Jules MacDonald thought her happily-ever-after was secure with her barbarian laird. She journeyed through time, to seventeenth century Scotland in search of her sister, and fell in love with Hugh MacDonald.

Her forever started over a year ago when she decided to stay. Now she’s expecting her first child, and can’t be happier. The problem is her husband doesn’t share her joy.

After losing his first wife and wee son in childbirth, every day his sweet Juliette’s stomach grows is proof of her probable demise. Memories haunt Hugh and he closes himself off from her, rather than deal with the pain.

Jules is devastated by losing the man she loves, when he’s right beside her. She seeks refuge with her sister’s clan, the MacLeods, in an effort to bear her child where they’ll both be loved and wanted.

Hugh must face his worst fears to win back his wife and child before she flees to the future. Or will he be too late?

Jules is heartbroken.  She loves her husband dearly, but he has been cold and distant since she told him she was pregnant – in fact he hasn’t touched her at all since then.  She’s tried to talk to him, but he won’t talk to her about what’s bothering him.  Jules knows that she can’t live like this any longer so she makes arrangements to head to her sister’s home.  She hopes that Hugh will stop her when she tells him she’s leaving, but he just lets her go.

I saw this novella on NetGalley and it sounded cute.  No, I hadn’t read any of the books in the Highland Secrets series so I hadn’t met Hugh and Jules before.  I might have had different feelings about the book had I done so.  To a point I understood what Jules was feeling.  I got the impression that she’d tried to talk to Hugh about his attitude but had she sat him down and said, “Hey buddy, I’m outta here if you don’t shape up!” would things have been different?  Would he have broken out of his fear of losing her in childbirth like he did his first wife and child? IDK.  I didn’t really care for Hugh in this story – maybe because I’d never seen the wonderful, loving side of him that I’m sure was shown to readers in the couple’s full-length love story.

Despite not really knowing the characters it was a sweet story that I enjoyed reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Highland Secrets

three-stars


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Guest Review: Nobody’s Lady by Annabelle Anders

Posted May 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Nobody’s Lady by Annabelle AndersReviewer: Tracy
Nobody's Lady by Annabelle Anders
Series: Lord Love a Lady #1
Published by The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: May 2, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 300
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three-half-stars

Dukes don’t need help, or do they?

Michael Redmond, the Duke of Cortland, needs to be in London—most expeditiously—but a band of highway robbers have thwarted his plans. Purse-pinched, coachless, and mired in mud, he stumbles on Lilly Beauchamp, the woman who betrayed him years ago.

Ladies can’t be heroes, or can they?

Michael was her first love, her first lover, but he abandoned her when she needed him most. She’d trusted him, and then he failed to meet with her father as promised. A widowed stepmother now, Lilly loves her country and will do her part for the Good of England—even if that means aiding this hobbled and pathetic duke.

They lost their chance at love, or did they?

A betrothal, a scandal, and a kidnapping stand between them now. Can honor emerge from the ashes of their love?

Michael, the Duke of Cortland, is set upon by highwaymen while on his way to London.  He and his coachman and outriders set out, barefoot, for the nearest inn but that takes most of the day.  When they finally arrive at an inn, they are soaked from the rain and covered in mud.  Of course the innkeeper doesn’t believe Michael’s a duke, but a voice from Michael’s past pipes up and vouches for him.  The voice belongs to Lilly Bridge, the woman he fell in love with and the woman who left him to marry another man.  He tells himself he’s over her but he’s not sure that’s true.  He’s engaged to another woman, however, and despite what his deep-down feelings for Lilly are, he can do nothing about them.

Lilly hasn’t had a great life since leaving Michael at the house party.  She felt betrayed by him and felt that he didn’t truly love her – he just abandoned her after they had made love!  Lilly had spent years married to Baron Beauchamp – her dead sister’s widower – and he’d made her life miserable.  Now he’s dead and Lilly is trying to secure a good match for her niece/step-daughter, Glenda.  They are on their way to London for the Season when they run into Michael.  Lilly never got over the man but when she finds out he’s engaged she determines that she’ll stay as far away from him as she can.  Things don’t always work as planned.

Lilly and Michel, despite the extended separation, never stopped being in love.  Now Michael is trying to do the honorable thing by keeping his promise to marry Lady Natalie but he wants no one but Lilly.  Lilly just wants to be free from the pain of her life and figures once she marries Glenda off she’ll get a small cottage and live in peace, on her own terms.  Of course life has its ups and downs and, as Lilly knows, life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it.

This was a sweet story that I enjoyed reading.  I loved reading about Michael and Lilly when they were younger. For about half of the book it has alternating chapters in the present and the past.  This did get a little old but once the whole past story was out the book stayed firmly in the present.

Both Lilly and Michael felt betrayed by the other but neither had the full story about what happened.  Michael had a very good reason for not contacting Lilly but I also understood Lilly capitulating to her father as he insisted that she be well taken care of.  He was dying and wanted her secure – too bad he didn’t know what a bastard Baron Beauchamp would be to his daughter.

While I loved reading this story and about how much Michael and Lilly loved each other, there were times when their declarations of love got a little too cheesy for my liking.  It was heart-warming, but I found myself laughing as well when it got to be a bit too much. When the “villain” in the book does something near the end of the story it was a little over the top and contrived.  The villain had been mostly silent during the book so for him to make the move he did made me roll my eyes a little.

Overall it was a nice historical romance.

Rating: 3.5/3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor

Posted May 11, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregorReviewer: Tracy
The Luck of the Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #3) by Janna MacGregor
Series: The Cavensham Heiresses #3
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
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four-stars

Family secrets, mistaken identities…love and money make people do crazy things in The Luck of the Bride, the third Cavensham Heiresses novel.

March Lawson has never had much luck, and in a desperate move to save her family, she's been posing as the Marquess of McCalpin. But when she's summoned to a meeting with the Marquess himself, March expects jail time…not to be bewitched by dark hair and sapphire eyes.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin and heir to the Duke of Langham, finds himself drawn to March despite the judgments from his peers. He isn't sure he can trust March, especially since Michael has a secret that could ruin him and his family.

But society conspires to keep March and Michael apart, and when March is accused of not being who she says she is, will Michael toss her aside or fight for the woman he's come to love?

When is March Lawson is just a teenager both of her parents die.  The estate is left in the hands of a guardian who basically ignores the family – March and her siblings (two sisters and a brother, Bennett, the heir who is only a baby when the parents died).  The keeper of the girls’ dowries went to a friend of March’s father but when he died it passed to his nephew.  March tries to take care of her family the best she can, but now it’s been eight years and with no funds, and everyone ignoring her pleas for help, she takes matters into her own hands.  She works out a scheme to forge the Marquess of McCalpin’s signature and starts taking small amounts out of her own dowry.  She is 25 and not married so that money should have come to her anyway.  When she’s caught things don’t really go how she planned.

Michael Cavensham has a problem with numbers.  I don’t think it could be classified as dyslexia as he apparently has not issue with the written word.  It’s with numbers that things get jumbled up.  His brother helps him out and being a Marquess he can delegate things.  Unfortunately he didn’t catch on to March, his solicitors did so Michael asks to see March.

Despite March’s criminal acts the family is taken in by the Cavensham family and treated as family.  They sponsor the girls in their seasons but March feels she’s too old to be out.  Michael can’t stop thinking about March and wants to be with her but he’s afraid of what will happen when she finds out that he’s and idiot (those are his words, not mine).

This was a really cute book.  It wasn’t action packed or too terribly angsty – although there was some strife towards the end of the book, of course – and I liked that.  I was proud of March for doing such a good job of raising her siblings with little to no help from anyone.  She did what she had to do in order to keep her family fed.  I liked that once Michael found out about the true reason March was forging his signature that he took the family under his wing so that they would suffer no more.

I would have liked to have the truth about March’s age come out.  They said she was 24 while she insisted that she was 25 but it was never resolved in the end.  I guess as she got married it didn’t matter, right?  Ugh.  Lol

The siblings didn’t have too big of a role except for little Bennett.  He was 9 in the book and was feeling his way in the world.  March had done a fine job trying to get him ready for his role in life but having Michael’s father step in and mentor him was fun to see.  Little Bennett was an absolute treat and I loved reading his parts in the book.

Overall I liked the book.  I really didn’t like the issue at the end of the book between the H/h because I didn’t think it was truly realistic, but that’s me.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Cavensham Heiresses Series

four-stars


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