Tag: Lyrical Press

Guest Review: A Lady’s Honor by A.S. Fenichel

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

Guest Review: A Lady’s Honor by A.S. FenichelA Lady's Honor by A.S. Fenichel
Series: The Everton Domestic Society #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Not every match is made at the marriage mart…

After a disastrous, short-lived engagement and years of caring for her ailing grandmother, Phoebe Hallsmith is resigned to spinsterhood. But if she must be unmarried, far better to be of use than languishing at home, disappointing her parents. As an employee of the Everton Domestic Society of London, Phoebe accepts a position at the country home of an old friend and discovers an estate—and a lord of the manor—in a state of complete chaos.

Losing himself in the bottle has done nothing to ease Markus Flammel’s grief over losing his wife. Not even his toddler daughter can bring him back from the brink. Now this fiery, strong-minded redhead has taken over his home, firing and hiring servants at will and arousing unexpected desire. As not one, but two, suitors suddenly vie for Phoebe’s hand, can Markus move past loss and fight for a future with the woman who has transformed his world?

Phoebe spent the years between age 18 and 23 in the Highlands with her grandmother.  She loved every minute of it and wouldn’t have changed a minute of the time she had with her Grand.  Of course those were her best “courting” years and now she’s considered on the shelf.  She was engaged in Scotland but the man broke it off stating that Phoebe was a “cold fish.”  When she returned home rather than try to find a husband she decides to continue helping people and takes a job at the Everton Domestic Society.  Her family is outraged and her oldest brother, a viscount and head of the family, disowns her.  She’s fine with that.

She is assigned to a job helping the Viscount of Devonrose get his house and family back in order.  Normally Everton ladies don’t take jobs that involve anyone they know but she is specifically requested.  She knows the family because she was very good friends with the now deceased Viscountess of Devonrose.  When she arrives at the country estate she realizes she has her work cut out for her.  When her friend Emma died in childbirth her husband, Markus, chose to kill himself with drinking. He was stuck in his grief and has been drinking practically non-stop for the past two years.  His daughter Elizabeth is being raised by what little staff hasn’t been fired when Markus goes into a temper.  The staff as well as Elizabeth is frightened of Markus and Phoebe isn’t having it.

When Phoebe arrives. Markus wants nothing more than for her to be gone.  He does promise her that he will stop drinking and the longer he goes without a drink he realizes the kind of man he’s become.  Instead of helping his grief, it was only worsening it.  He also realizes he had ignored his holdings and most importantly, his daughter.  He tries to put this to rights the damage he has done and in doing so he starts to notice Phoebe.  He doesn’t want to be he knows that what he’s feeling isn’t just gratitude for her help, but appreciation for the woman herself.  Though they both try to fight it they fall in love.  Unfortunately Phoebe’s circumstances and her brother’s meddling may keep them apart.

This was a cute story.  I really liked Phoebe and loved that she said whatever was on her mind (most of the time).  She was bossy, but the situation called for that.  I wish she had been a little bossier with her family – they were nuts.  Her brother Miles was fine but the rest?  Wow.  Just wow.

Markus was fine after he finally pulled himself out of the bottle.  He tried to make amends and was actually doing a bang-up job of it. Little Elizabeth needed her father and he was finally there for her in a big way.

The parts of the story I didn’t really care for had to do with Phoebe’s suitors.  Markus was having problems coming to terms with his feelings and his thoughts on how he could never love another woman that would replace Emma.  That didn’t make it any easier to see both his secretary and the man who had once jilted her come around to court her.  I think this part annoyed me because Phoebe was so straightforward with everything else and it almost felt like she was leading these two on instead of telling them to take a giant leap.  Yes, she said it a round about way but it bothered me that the author had her personality changing in those instances.  It just was consistent.

Despite my issues it was a good story and I’ll be looking to read more in this series in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: To Woo a Wicked Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Posted April 12, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: To Woo a Wicked Widow by Jenna JaxonReviewer: Tracy
To Woo a Wicked Widow by Jenna Jaxon
Series: The Widow's Club #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Lady Charlotte Cavendish is still the spirited girl who tried to elope in the name of love. That dream was thwarted by her father who trapped her into a loveless, passionless marriage. But now widowed, Charlotte is free to reenter the giddy world of theton—and pursue her desires. For hardly your typical widow, she remains innocent to the pleasures of the flesh. Yet her life is finally her own, and she intends to keep it that way.

Nash, the twelfth Earl of Wrotham, is beguiled by Charlotte at first sight—and the feeling is mutual. When he receives her intriguing invitation to a house party, the marriage-minded lord plans to further their acquaintance. But even he cannot sway her aversion to matrimony, and only with great restraint does he resist her most tempting offer. For unbeknownst to Charlotte, the misadventures of the past are revisiting them both, and bedding her could cost him everything—or give him everything he ever wanted.

After being in mourning for her husband, Charlotte is excited to be out in society. Her father had forced her into a horrible marriage with one of his peers and now that she’s out from under his thumb she wants to live. Unfortunately it’s right at the end of the season and there’s not a lot of time to get to know any men.

She has other friends whose husbands died at Waterloo or was caused by that battle and Charlotte decides to start the Widow’s Club.  They decide that to get to know the men they have their sights on they will hold a house party at Charlotte’s home in Kent.  They all invite the men of their choosing but one man invites his friend along when he wasn’t supposed to and the “friend” is a dangerous rake.  Charlotte tries to make the best of it but he won’t give up.  Who she really has her eye one, Nash, her next door neighbor in Kent, seems to have a tendre for her as well but he’s interested in marriage and Charlotte loves being an independent woman.  Can Charlotte and Nash work out their differences with everything else getting in the way?

This was a very cute book.  I really enjoyed the writing and the whole premise of the book.  Charlotte was a pretty good character and her and Nash were great together.

Charlotte was stubborn and that had gotten her into trouble with her father in the past.  Her father was an ogre and wanted to run Charlotte’s life.  I loved that she put him in her place once she got a chance to (once she was a widow).  I did want her to be a little more forceful with the gentlemen who were making unwanted advances, but she was worried about her reputation.  I would have said screw the reputation and slapped the men. Lol Nash was a great guy – we just didn’t get enough page time with him, imho.  He played a huge part but mostly the book revolved around the widow’s.

Overall a cute new series.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book to see what happens with all of the ladies.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Melting Snow by Leora Gonzales

Posted December 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Melting Snow by Leora GonzalesReviewer: Tracy
Melting Snow by Leora Gonzales
Series: Braving the Heat #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: November 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 52
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-stars

Hot

Broke college student Winter Snow wants Christmas to be over. Thanks to her annoying name, this time of year always leaves her feeling Scrooged. The only cheer she wants is cold hard cash from her mall cleaning job—until a surprise offer from a hunky firefighter sparks one sizzling midnight temptation . . .

Hotter

William Holiday needs a replacement elf for his fire station’s fund-raiser. Convincing Winter she's perfect for the part—and giving her some one-on-one training—is a task he’s happy to take on. Because her irrepressible smarts and luscious curves are making this seductive Saint Nick want to deliver all night long . . .

Burn

Winter isn't betting on more than an X-rated Xmas fling. But Will plans to show her they have more in common than their quirky last names—enough to keep their wildest holiday wishes coming true . . .

At age 27 Winter is finally going to college and working part time jobs to help with tuition and rent.  One of those jobs is cleaning a small mall at night.  While on shift one night she meets a fireman named Will Holiday who will be playing Santa.  His elf breaks her leg and Will sees Winter working and asks her to be his elf.  From that moment on the pair are together.

This short story started off well and I was hoping for a sweet but hot story.  I didn’t get that and I wasn’t impressed with anything about this book.

When Will meets Winter he likes her looks and asks her to be his elf.  When he introduces her to the rest of his fire station (they’re decorating the mall for Santa’s North Pole) he quickly stakes his claim by holding her hand. A little forward for just having met, but okay.  He then asks to drive her home and within hours of meeting they’re sleeping together. Literally sleeping.  What???  I mean, I think I would have understood it better if they’d had sex.  By the next day Will is calling Winter ‘baby’ as if they’ve been together forever and telling her he’s going to marry her someday and they’re talking about kids and – oh holy cow!

Events in this book happen at the speed of light.  There’s no character development, there’s no true getting to know you period, there’s nothing. This was a meet and screw and be together forever.  I just wasn’t buying it.  Some authors know how to pull this off, but this story just didn’t manage to do that.  Because of my skepticism with the relationship I couldn’t get into the sex scenes either and found them boring. I would have rather seen the two actually getting to know each other but maybe that’s just me.

Braving the Heat

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Her Leading Hero by Maggie Dallen

Posted December 10, 2017 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: Her Leading Hero by Maggie DallenHer Leading Hero (A Reel Romance) by Maggie Dallen
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Is she getting a second take at her Hollywood ending?
Despite her leading lady looks, Tamara Pierce has always been happiest out of the spotlight, especially since a painful breakup drove her away from her society friends. Now she's happily managing a magnificent, historic old movie house that's in danger of being torn down. It's good news when a billionaire buyer shows interest. If only the billionaire in question weren't Gregory Blanchard, who once fueled her fantasies of happily after ever.

Known for his reckless endeavors in romance and business, Gregory's determined to prove his worth with this new project. And he knows how to do it: making Tamara the public face of the Ellen Theater. She's poised, passionate-the perfect partner on his arm at fundraising events. Once he lures her into the limelight, the shy beauty gets under his skin in a way no woman has before. But will a heartbreaker like him be the one to lead her back to love?

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

“Tamara?” His low voice cut through the music and the chatter, stopping her in her tracks.

The original cold fear returned and a shiver raced through her at the sound of his voice.

She turned slowly. There was no escaping it now. Resignation at her fate had her steeling her spine and squaring her shoulders. She had known this day would come eventually.

He was smiling down at her, and the sheer sex appeal behind it stole her breath away. Sweet Jesus, he’d always been hot, even as a teenager. But now, he was literally breathtaking. He’d filled out, his chest and shoulders molding the suit to perfection. His jaw was even more defined, if that was possible. He’d matured into the aristocratic features that had made him seem older as a teenager. Now they made him look like what he was: a whip-smart, highly educated leader in the city. One not to be trifled with by enemies and whose cool elegance made him a favorite match for supermodels and actresses. Last she’d read, he’d been linked to someone famous. Who was it?

What did that matter? A distant voice mocked her for obsessing over his looks and love life at a time like this. But now that the moment she’d feared was finally here, an odd calm came over her. It was almost… Relief.

Maybe that was why she was able to summon a smile when he said her name again. “Tamara Pierce?”

He’d lowered his head a bit and leaned in so they could speak over the noise of the crowd. It was an oddly intimate gesture, like they were part of an exclusive club. She could smell a warm musky cologne as he drew even closer, his eyes fixed on her and filled with warmth.

It was then that his words hit her. Pierce. He’d called her by her mother’s maiden name, the name she’d been using ever since she left Boston.

She blinked up at him as the significance of that one word sank in. “Ms. Pierce,” he continued, apparently not thinking it odd that she was staring at him like a mute idiot. “I’m a friend of Ben’s.” He gestured over his shoulder toward Ben, who was leaning against a wall glaring at the poor man who was speaking to his girlfriend, Caitlyn.

Was it possible Gregory didn’t recognize her? A flicker of hope had her breath quickening and her smile broadening. She looked to Ben—of course, he was a friend of Ben’s, hadn’t Caitlyn told her that? He could be here to support Ben. Or maybe Caitlyn invited him….

Gregory started to speak again, and she turned her attention back to him. She instantly wished she hadn’t done that. His eyes were unnerving. His gaze was too direct. Too intense. Too…sexy.

“He told me you were the expert here,” he said. A smile hovered on his lips as he shoved his hands into his pockets and ducked his head again, in a charmingly self-effacing gesture. As if he was just another guy looking to learn some history and not a freakin’ billionaire playboy.

A billionaire playboy who didn’t recognize her.

A Reel Romance

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Maggie Dallen

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Maggie Dallen is a huge fan of happily-ever-afters. She writes contemporary and YA romance and has been known to rewrite the endings to classic love stories to ensure that they end on a happy note. In Maggie’s version, Ingrid Bergman does not get on the plane. She lives in Northern California and works at a yarn store to support her knitting addiction. For more info please visit maggiedallen.com.

Follow her on Twitter @Mag_Dallen. Or connect with her on Facebook


Tagged: , , , , ,

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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
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


Tagged: , , , , , , ,