Tag: Rowena’s Reviews

Review: The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Posted June 27, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia QuinnReviewer: Rowena
The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys Series #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

While you were sleeping...

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie...

I told everyone I was your wife

When Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true...

Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

We first hear about Edward Rokesby in the first book, Because of Miss Bridgerton. He’s the Rokesby brother that everyone thought was going to marry Billie Bridgerton. He’s the brother that is fighting in the war and though he doesn’t make an appearance in that book, we still got to know him through his family and I was pretty stoked to hear that we were going to finally meet him in this book so I couldn’t wait to get this book for review.

Edward was everything that I hoped he’d be. He was fun, flirty and a little rough around the edges. He was a good man at heart and he protected those close to him and he considered Cecelia close. He’s never met her in real life before but when he wakes up from an injury and finds out that she has been by his side for days now and that they’re…married, he doesn’t question it. He steps up and does what he can for Cecelia. She’s his best friend’s sister and she’s a good person so if she says they’re married then it must be true.

Only it’s not and the only person that knows that is Cecelia. Sure, she has a legit reason for telling everyone that they’re married and that reason is why she ran away from England but I have a hard time with secret plots and this particular secret messed with my enjoyment of the book as a whole because Cecelia took too long to come clean with Edward. I sympathized with her because she’s pretty much all alone in the world now and with a money hungry cousin sniffing around, I get that she felt like she had no choice but to lie but the longer she kept the lie from Edward is where I started having issues with her. I didn’t care about her lying to everyone else. That was necessary but when it became unnecessary for her to lie to Edward, she should have come clean and she didn’t.

I loved Edward’s character. I could totally see him fitting in perfectly with the rest of his family back home. I loved seeing him fall in love with Cecelia and seeing him keep his distance from her until she was comfortable with him made me laugh because he’d gone without female companionship for a long time and then to have Cecelia so close and not being able to touch her, his wife to boot, poor guy.

Cecelia’s love for her family was something I liked about her. She was a good person at heart and I still liked her as a person. I loved seeing her fall in love with Edward and just be there for him when he needed her was great to witness. She thought of the little things to make his life easier and I loved that she handled all of that stuff for him. When she wrote his family to make sure that they knew that he was okay was great and I loved reading her letters to both Thomas and then later, Edward. They were carrying torches for each other long before they met and I liked that Quinn added that to their romance.

My only real gripe with this story was how long it took Cecelia to come clean with Edward. Everything else was more of the same that I’ve come to love about reading a Julia Quinn book. She has a talent for writing humorous love stories that hit me in the feels and this book was no different. It wasn’t my favorite book by hers but it was still a quality read that I’m sure fans of her books will enjoy.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan

Posted June 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine FeehanReviewer: Rowena
Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Series
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
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dnf

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan continues her sexy new series, as the Ferraros—a Chicago crime family—use their power as shadow riders to protect their empire and the ones they love…

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood - but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her - a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in this series but that didn’t stop me from wanting to read this book because I was a fan of Ricco’s and I wanted to get to know him better. In the first book, Ricco goes through some stuff and you can tell because he keeps getting himself into scrapes that the family has to get him out of and you know that there’s a story there so I requested this book to find out that story.

This book starts off with Ricco in the hospital after getting into a car wreck that was damn close to ending his life. His siblings are a) pissed at him for putting himself in danger again and b) worried as hell about him. He’s going through some stuff and things are starting to spill over and I could tell that he was close to the brink which made me interested in continuing this series just to read his story.

I wish I could say that the story lived up to what I was hoping it would be but the whole thing was slow going for me and I ended up putting this book down for good after about a week and a half of trying to get interested in what was going on. Between the slow story telling and not being able to connect to either Ricco (that was a bummer, too) or Mariko, I gave up and don’t know if I’ll give it a try later on. I doubt it.

Grade: DNF

dnf

Review: Revenge by Lexi Blake

Posted June 20, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Revenge by Lexi BlakeReviewer: Rowena
Revenge by Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless Series #3
Also in this series: Ruthless, Satisfaction, Satisfaction, Revenge
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
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four-stars

Passion and danger collide in the latest contemporary romance featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

When Drew Lawless discovers a fatal flaw in his plan to avenge his parents’ deaths, he turns to the one woman he'd promised he wouldn't touch. He offers her a deal, one that will bring her into his investigation, his life, and his bed.

Investigative reporter Shelby Gates never dreamed how twisted the case would become—or how fascinated she would be with Drew. Every day they spend together binds them. And every night brings her closer to realizing he might be the man for her.

As Drew's feelings for Shelby grow, so does the danger. From the streets of Dallas to Austin’s high-tech business world, Drew and Shelby play a game begun twenty years before—a game they will win, or die trying.

Revenge is the third book in the Lawless series and it follows the eldest of the Lawless siblings, Andrew. Andrew Lawless is a super geek with vengeance in his heart. Nothing will stop him from protecting his siblings and when a new threat (introduced in the last book, Satisfaction) arises, he sets about trying to take the bad guy down.

Drews got a plan to bring the bad guy down without including his siblings. They’re happy and moving on with their lives so he feels that keeping them out of everything is for their own good. His plan brings Shelby Gates into his life and she changes everything. She was hired to do a job by Drew and that job included pretending to be his girlfriend. Drew, Drew, Drew…you know fake relationships never work out the way that they’re supposed to.

So the plan is to do as much undercover research on their target as possible and the only way that Drew can keep Shelby safe is by moving her into his home and watching over her himself, even though including her, puts her life in danger. None of that matters to Drew Lawless because he’s so focused on keeping his family safe that everyone else is collateral damage.

Drew was a punk ass jerk face for his original plan. He’s always been a freaking jerk but the amount of love he had for his family kind of mitigated my frustration with him. At his core, he’s a good guy but he didn’t know how to act around people. He could only focus on the problem at hand, not understanding all of the shit he was stirring everywhere else. He’s intentions were good and his heart was in the right place but he did some shady shit to get things done.

Shelby is probably my favorite heroine in this series. She is strong and independent but she was also caring. She cared and she loved deeply. She was also loyal to a fault because even when Drew didn’t deserve her loyalty, he had it.

Seeing these two come together and then be split apart and then come together again was fun. I loved that Drew’s outlook on certain things changed but he didn’t change too much that he was a stranger. I loved that Shelby fell in love with asshole Drew and made him want to be a better person for her and the family. Their romance was hot and sweet and everything that a romance should be. They were great characters apart who went through fire for each other. Their story wasn’t an easy story but it was action packed and fun to read.

It was good to see the Lawless siblings and meet a very unexpected and new character that I hope to see more of in a future book. I really liked the way that this story wrapped up and I loved seeing Drew meet his match in Shelby. She didn’t let him get away with being a shithead and he became such an awesome hero in the end. I always liked him, despite him being a total dick but it was good to see his character really grow and change. There’s a lot going on in this book, lots of stuff that blew up Drew’s world but I loved seeing the family gather round and help bring the bad guy down. I love that stuff.

Overall, this was a great addition to this series and Lexi Blake did a great job of wrapping things up. I was a happy camper and I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars

Review: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Posted June 13, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Silver Silence by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling Trinity #1
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Silver Silence
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 496
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four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her extraordinary Psy-Changeling world with a story of wild passion and darkest betrayal...

Control. Precision. Family.

These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that's exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence--her mind clear of all emotion--Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That's what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious...and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan. Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Silver Silence kicks off the Psy-Changelings spin off series featuring the Trinity and it’s Silver Mercant’s book. Woot! I was very curious to see what kind of man Silver would fall for because her silence is fierce. She’s always been so calm and emotionless in her dealings with Kaleb so I was really excited to see her melt and who she’d melt for. Needless to say, I’d melt for Valentin too. He was super yummy and all of the things that I’ve come to love about the changeling males in this world.

So Silver Silence begins with an assassination attempt on Silver’s life and the book centers mostly around trying to find out who was behind the attempt. When danger starts spilling out all over the place, it is most important for the Mercants to hide Silver away so that they can uncover the bad guy. The bad guy is running around causing all kinds of chaos and the good guys (with Silver’s help) is trying to stop that but Silver can only do that while staying in the protective custody of Valentin’s clan.

Silver doesn’t understand why Valentin won’t just leave her alone. She’s made it more than obvious that his charms hold no sway over her and yet he still shows up at her house every few weeks to deliver reports he can deliver electronically instead. On the morning that she was poisoned, she was grateful that he was there as he was able to act fast and get her the help that she needed immediately. Before Silver knows what is what, she’s living with Valentin and getting to know his bear clan. He’s the alpha for his bear clan and getting to know him in the midst of his family, something happens to her and it’s inevitable that these two are going to get a lot closer than she’s comfortable with.

Valentin has made it crystal clear that he wants Silver. He’s been intrigued with the frosty Mercant since he first met her and he’s determined to claim her as his own. He’s got the long game going on right now because Silver is not on board with his plan. She doesn’t know how good they’ll be and Valentin has every intention of winning her over to his side. On top of pursuing Silver, Valentin has pack issues that he’s trying to figure out and my heart hurt for him because of that. He’s such a lovable guy who has a wealth of love and affection to give every single person in his pack and I couldn’t wait to see how things came together for him and his pack, as well as him and Silver.

Valentin and Silver’s romance rocked my socks. It was such fun to watch Silver fight what was happening at the same time that she was melting for him. She was confused and she was frightened but she didn’t let that stop her from seeing things through. I loved how fierce Valentin’s feelings for Silver were and I absolutely loved that she came to return those feelings. The way that she was protective of him rocked and overall, Nalini Singh did what she always does. She wrote an action packed romance with rich characters and a background story that will gain force with each book released and I can’t wait for all of it. It’s low key pathetic how anxious I am for the next book in this series. I need it now. Please write faster, Nalini!

Silver Silence was a fantastic start to the Psy-Changelings Trinity series and I’m so here for it all. I wonder who will get their story told next….Lily? Whoever it is, I’m ready!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars

Review: An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath

Posted June 1, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #4
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars

The son of a duke and an infamous mother, Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton, fought his way to respectability. Now, the most eligible bachelor in London, marriage-shy Rexton will take only a wife with an impeccable reputation, good breeding, and a penchant for staying out of the gossip sheets. But when he strikes a deal to be seen “courting” a sweet young debutante whose notorious older sister has blemished her chances for marriage, Rexton is unexpectedly drawn to the highly inappropriate, calamitous Tillie, Lady Landsdowne herself.

After a scandalous incident that sent shockwaves throughout society and disgraced her, Tillie refuses to cower in the face of the ton. Instead, she will hold her head high as she serves as a chaperone for her younger sister, but Tillie is convinced Rexton’s courtship is shrouded with secrets—ones she vows to uncover. However, doing so requires getting dangerously close to the devilishly handsome and forbidden marquess…

An Affair with a Notorious Heiress is the fourth book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series by Lorraine Heath and it follows Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton. Rexton has a bunch of siblings that we’ve come to know throughout this series. I have enjoyed every single book in this series and that didn’t stop with this one. Lorraine Heath is one of my go to historical romance authors because she writes historical romances that have that old school feel and I fall into each of her stories so very easily.

The Marquess of Rexton is no stranger to scandal. His mother wasn’t born into the aristocracy so when his father married her, she wasn’t really accepted but that didn’t stop his father from loving the hell out of her anyway. Rexton was bullied at school because of his mother. He grew up and had to deal with a scandal that was not his and he swore that when he grew up and took a wife, she would be above reproach. His children will never know the pain he endured when he was a child.

Lady Mathilda Landsdowne is a walking scandal. She’s a divorced woman who was caught kissing her footman and all this time later, she’s still paying for her actions. She has plans to leave England and return to New York to start over but first, she needs to get her younger sister situated and make sure that she marries someone who is worthy of her. Someone that will take care of her and make her happy, because Tillie knows all too well the misery behind marrying the wrong guy.

Rexton was approached by Tillie’s uncle to pay some attention to her younger sister, Gina in hopes that other gentlemen will take notice of her since Tillie’s divorce scandal has kept Gina from having the season she deserved. Rexton has no plans to marry Gina since she’s too young for him but when one of the best racehorses is dangled in front of his nose, he finds himself asking the young girl to dance…and then asking to take her for a ride in the park.

Tillie is suspicious of Rexton and she’s also attracted as hell to him. The attraction she feels for him is definitely returned and their story kind of takes off right when they meet. Rexton is immediately drawn to Tillie, to the strong front she puts up for everyone to the obvious love and support she has for her younger sister, Gina. The more time that Rexton spends with Tillie, the more that he wants her. Tillie is fighting her attraction to the man that is “courting” her sister but it’s a losing battle.

Lorraine Heath did such a great job of pulling my heartstrings with this book. Between Tillie not wanting Rexton to suffer from loving her and Rexton wanting to protect Tillie from everything and everyone around her, I was happy sighing all over the place. I completely connected with both of their characters and their situations. I wished for them to work things out and for them to find a way to be together and in the end, I got my wish.

Tillie was a strong heroine that was hellbent on making sure that her sister didn’t make the same mistakes she did and I really loved the relationship between the two sisters. Gina wanted Tillie’s happiness just as much as Tillie wanted Gina’s and I loved how Team Rexton Gina was. That was just too adorable for words.

Rexton was everything that I hoped he would be and I loved seeing him fall in love with Tillie. I loved seeing how close he was with his family and the way that they all came together to accept Tillie into the fold was just too stinkin’ good. The way that they banded around Rexton and his woman made my heart swell. He was such a good man and my bloodthirsty heart was satisfied with the beat down he gave anyone who dared to touch Tillie.

Heath worked her magic and it paid off because this was a fine romance and I’m super glad that I read it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars