Tag: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Throwback Thursday Review: The Girl Most Likely To… by Susan Donovan

Posted February 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 10 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: The Girl Most Likely To… by Susan DonovanReviewer: Casee
The Girl Most Likely To... by Susan Donovan
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: December 30th 2008
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 340
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Kat Cavanaugh was sixteen when she hitchhiked out of Persuasion, West Virginia and vowed never to return. Who could blame her? She'd just stumbled upon her father's adulterous affair, found out she was pregnant, got dumped by her boyfriend, and kicked out of her house and school . . . all in a single afternoon. Twenty years have gone by and Kat's back—gorgeous, rich, and looking for an apology from everyone who'd turned their backs on her. First on that list is Riley Bohland, the boy who broke her heart before she could tell him about the baby.

But Kat didn't count on Riley having his own axe to grind, or that he'd be just as delicious as he was at sixteen. She also didn't count on her heart opening at the sight of him. When their anger ignites a passion intense enough to burn through two decades of secrets and lies, Kat must question everything she thought she knew about her past. And what about her future? The only place to find the answers may be in Riley's arms…

***Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 29, 2008.

I adore Susan Donovan. She writes some of the best contemporaries I’ve ever read. He Loves Lucy and Take a Chance on Me are a few of my favorite contemps of all time. That’s why I was so disappointed when I read that this would be Susan’s last contemporary. I mean, wtf?

Kat Cavanaugh left home at sixteen, alone and pregnant. When she went to tell her boyfriend that she was going to have a baby, he dumped her before she got the chance. Kat left town that night and has never returned. Until now, twenty years later. After coming into some unexpected money, Kat decides to return Persuasion to show her parents and Riley Bohland that she made it just fine without them. Little did she know what she would find.

Riley never knew that Kat was pregnant that long ago night. Being pressured by his father to break-up with Kat, he only did it to appease his father and fully intended to get back together with her. He had known that Kat was the one for him years ago, but everyone said that they were too young to know that. So when he found out that Kat left town without a word, he was devestated. That’s until he found out her secret a little more than eighteen years later.

Kat is stunned at Riley’s anamosity toward her. What right does he have to act like he was wronged? She was the one that was dumped, pregnant and alone at sixteen. To Kat’s dismay, the explosive attraction between them at sixteen was even more prominent at thirty six. Even with all the unsolved issues between them, Riley and Kat can’t stay away from each other.

While this book wasn’t up there with He Loves Lucy and Take a Chance on Me, it still had Donovan’s trademark humor. There were a few things the book could have gone without, including Kat’s psychotic father. There was already Riley’s stalker ex-girlfriend and the Bed-and-Breakfast owner who decided that she wanted Riley’s brother, even though he was already taken. Any one of these things by itself would have been okay, but all three together was a tad over the top.

Another thing I think Donovan did a great job on was the confrontation between Kat and her son, Aidan. Finding out he had a father after twenty years is not something that Aidan easily accepts. Especially since the mother he has loved so deeply lied to him. The book wouldn’t have been as good if Aidan would have easily accepted that Kat lied to him. Also, the reunion between father and son is “awwww” inducing.

Overall, I loved this book which makes me that much more disappointed that it will be her last contemp. Boo. and am so excited that she’s coming out with a new trilogy next year. w00t!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch

Posted January 29, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Tracy
A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch
Series: No Ordinary Hero #3
Also in this series: Hero in the Highlands, My One True Highlander
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The dawning of desire...

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever…

...is delicious and dangerous.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

Callum is a young 20-year-old man and enjoying his drink and his women.  His best friend, besides his brother Ian, is Becca.  When he finds out that she’s agreed to marry Ian, he’s despondent and says some mean things. He also finds out that night that his brother and Becca’s father are going into business with the Duke of Dunncraigh and his son, and Callum warns Ian that it won’t turn out well as he knows that Dunncraigh and Stapp are not good men.  Ian tells Callum to leave and never return.  Callum takes him at his word and leaves not only his home, but Scotland.

Ten years later Callum is a man who is nothing like the youngster he was.  He has grown emotionally and physical and has stayed away from alcohol.  He has his own distillery and it’s becoming well known.  He’s a rich man in his own right and needs nothing from anyone.  When one of his workers comes across a newspaper stating that Ian drowned the previous year, Callum immediately sets sail for Scotland.

Becca is shocked to see Callum and wants him gone.  She is being courted by the Duke of Dunncraigh’s son, Lord Stapp, and has a good life which she doesn’t need interrupted.  She is just coming out of mourning for her husband and her father, who died not long after Ian, and wants nothing to do with Callum.  Of course, that’s what she says but down deep she’s a little bit thrilled that he’s there.  There were always feelings that she harbored for Callum but she knew even ten years earlier that he wasn’t the steady man she needed.  Now Callum is in MacCreath house and making accusations – saying that Dunncraigh and Stapp killed both Ian and her father.  On top of that he has claimed guardianship of Becca’s 6-year-old daughter, Maggie, and refuses to let her leave with Becca.  Not about to leave her daughter, Becca stays.  She must prove to Callum that she had nothing to do with the deaths in her family.  She also starts to believe Callum when he says that the deaths weren’t accidents.

I really love Enoch’s books and this one is another great one.  Callum, when he returns to Scotland, is such a different man than when he left.  Although we only saw him in one scene before the time jump I could tell he was a bit of a rogue.  Ten years later he is a man of action and is not afraid to step on toes to get what he wants. I normally don’t care for men like that, but Enoch wrote Callum in a way that I couldn’t help but like him.  He was so determined to find his brother’s killer. He felt guilty that he had ignored his brother’s letters when he was alive and even had them burned.  It was a bit heartbreaking to see his guilt but I thought he avenged his brother beautifully.

With Becca it took me some time to like her.  I couldn’t get a grasp on her personality in the short scene at the beginning of the book.  When we see her again she’s so determined to get Callum gone that I couldn’t help but think there was something going on with her.  There was – her repressed feelings for him.  As the story moved on I could see the person she had become and I liked her a lot.  She was a great match for Callum and I liked them together.

Overall the story was a good one.  Of course Enoch added the cute when she wrote in Maggie, her dog Reginald and Callum’s wolf, Waya.  Those three had me smiling a bunch of times during the course of the book and I loved it.  If you read the other two books in the series you won’t want to miss this one.  If you haven’t started the series, it’s one I recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

No Ordinary Hero Series

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna Bennett

Posted January 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna BennettReviewer: Tracy
The Rogue Is Back in Town by Anna Bennett
Series: The Wayward Wallflowers #3
Also in this series: My Brown-Eyed Earl
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
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three-half-stars

Hide your daughters and your maiden aunts…Lord Samuel Travis is back.―The London Hearsay, special society edition

Equal parts scoundrel and seducer, he’s returned to London determined to mend the rift with his older brother. All Sam must do is take possession of a tumbledown town house. A seemingly simple task, except the house is occupied—by an infuriating, whip-smart beauty who refuses to do his bidding.

Miss Juliette Lacey’s wallflower days are over. She has a plan to turn her eccentric family into the toast of the ton—but the devilishly handsome rake trying to oust them from their home thwarts her at every turn. How can one man be so vexing and make her simmer with desire?

As her attraction to Sam deepens, Julie’s problems grow—she may have, once upon a time, secretly shared a kiss with his honorable older brother. Suddenly, Julie’s caught between a rogue and a marquess, between passion and respectability. Torn between two brothers, what’s a girl to do?

Lord Samuel Travis has been on the continent trying to deal with his father’s death the only way he knows how – get drunk constantly and bed women.  That didn’t exactly work but he’s now back in London and not doing a whole lot better.  His older brother, Nigel, has had enough of Sam’s antics and kicks him out of the house.  In order to get back into his brother’s good graces he must kick people out of a town home that apparently belongs to the estate.  Sam’s determined to do this right except when he gets to the house he finds not only an old man but his young, beautiful and fierce niece.

Juliette Lacey has been taking care of her aging uncle for years but now that her two sisters have married and moved out she’s the only one there to keep him on the straight and narrow.  When Samuel Travis shows up and demands they move NOW Juliette puts her foot down.  She knows that the house belongs to her uncle she just needs time to prove it.  In the meantime, she’s dealing with Sam’s brother Nigel who is trying to blackmail her into being his mistress by holding the house over her head.  Yeah, he’s a real bastard.

Sam agrees to stay in the house so that Juliette can look for the deed to the townhouse but the more time he spends with Juliette and her uncle Alistair, and the no time drinking, he sees the type of man he could be.  One who’s not only cut out to be a lazy sod, but someone who can make his own way and be someone that Juliette could be proud of, if she’ll have him.

I can’t say that this was a love at first sight story, but it was pretty darned close.  That was love for Samuel at first sight.  For Juliette it was pretty much loathing at first sight.  Sure, she thought he was attractive but the minute she found out what he was there for she put her guard up.  Of course Samuel eventually wooed her into his bed but that was actually ok in my book.  I was just happy that it kept Juliette away from the evil brother, Nigel.

The story moved quickly in all ways.  I thought that some of it could have been slowed down a bit (the romance) as it would have given us time to truly get involved in the characters and the feelings they started to share.  That didn’t happen however, so I dealt with it. 🙂  Overall it was a good book with a cute story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Wayward Wallflowers Series

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake

Posted November 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia DrakeReviewer: Tracy
The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake
Series: Cinderella Sisterhood #6
Also in this series: Abducted by a Prince
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
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three-half-stars


Scandal begins with just one kiss. . .

Aurora Paxton was once the belle of the ball, the most sought-after debutante of the season―until a scandalous mistake ruined her. Shunned by her family, Rory was banished to the country to live in disgrace. Now she’s been summoned back to London by her stepmother, who is being blackmailed by the least likely person Rory can imagine: Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell.

Lucas is someone Rory’s known for years―a man as devastatingly handsome as he is coldly disapproving of her. What in the world could he want from her or her family? Rory intends to find out as soon as she comes face to face with her old foe. What she never expects, however, is that the icy aristocrat has a soft spot for her―and a secret plan to redeem her status. Could it be that Lucas has been in love with Rory all along. . .and has finally found a way to win her heart?

Aurora Paxton had it all.  Beautiful, vivacious – having the time of her life during her first season.  That all came to a crashing halt when she was found in a compromising position with an Italian diplomat, Stefano.  When her father demanded that Stefano marry Rory, Stefano admitted to having a wife back in Italy.  Rory was devastated that the man she thought loved her had lied to her.  Then her father and stepmother banished her from London and off she went to live with her aunt in Norfolk.  That was eight years ago.

When a Lady Milford shows up at her aunt’s house unexpectedly and tells Rory that her stepmother needs her help, Rory is skeptical as her aunt dislikes her intensely.  Then Lady Milford mentions that not only is her stepmother being blackmailed but that Rory’s sister, Celeste, is getting married to a duke in a month – a man that Rory thinks is way too old for her sister.

Rory heads to London and after talking with her stepmonster…uh, I mean stepmother, she heads off to work as a companion to the Marchioness of Dashell, the current Marquesses mother who is bedridden.  Rory’s stepmother believes that the Marquess, Lucas Vale, is the one that stole the letters and is blackmailing her. While working as a companion Rory will be able to search the house for the missing letters. Rory remembers the Marquess as being a stuffy prig and he proves he still is – for a bit. The longer that Rory is in the household the clearer she sees that Lucas isn’t as stuffy as she originally believed.  When Rory determines that Lucas isn’t behind the blackmail he agrees to help her find the true culprit which pushes the pair together.

The Scandalous Flirt is a book inspired by a fairy tale.  Lady Milford has enchanted slippers that supposedly bring the wearer to their true love. When Rory heads back to London Lady Milford hands over the shoes for Rory to wear.  Now, I know that the whole premise of the fairy tale is that the enchanted slippers were supposed to bring Rory to her true love but that was mostly Lady Milford and the stepmother pushing Rory toward Lucas.  Yes, Rory wore the shoes but really, I didn’t feel they had anything to do with it and they were only mentioned a couple of times in the book.  Lucas had been smitten with Rory eight years earlier and with them in close contact constantly they were bound to get closer.  Since this is based on a fairy tale I just wish that it had been more fairy tale-ish.  But that’s me. 🙂

While I liked Lucas by the end of the story, he wasn’t a soft man and for most of the book I was on the shelf as to whether I actually liked him or not.  I did believe he truly loved Rory and was happy they ended up together in the end.

Rory and I had a love hate relationship.  There were things I liked about her, definitely, but sometimes her stubbornness and I-am-woman-hear-me-roar ways drove me a bit batty.  I understand she was a feminist and that was awesome but there were occasions in the book where what she thought of as feminism was her just being reckless and yes, I’ll say it, stupid.

The romance wasn’t typical in this book but it was good.  I liked Rory and Lucas together and they played well off of each other.  I was happy that Lucas went for the poor, scandalous girl in the end.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

Posted April 4, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: My One True Highlander by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Tracy
My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch
Series: No Ordinary Hero #2
Also in this series: Hero in the Highlands, A Devil in Scotland
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rugged highlander Graeme has one thing on his mind—take a stand against the horrible Englishman Lattimer and he will be rewarded with enough money to be set for life. But when his reckless younger brothers take it one step too far and kidnaps a young woman on her way to see Lattimer, Graeme has to intervene. He cannot send the lady back without his kin getting in trouble. And when a damsel this beautiful is dropped into your lap, it’s hard to let her go...

Marjorie should be terrified she’s been captured by highland scoundrels, but it’s hard to live in terror when your captor is a devilishly handsome and sinfully tempting as Graeme is. She cannot stay by his side forever—no matter how her heart may pound at the thought—but Graeme seems to have other plans. This wicked highlander is out to seduce her and doesn’t plan to stop until she’s in his arms...forever...

Graeme, Viscount Maxton, is an impoverished Chieftan in the Maxwell clan.  He doesn’t see eye to eye with the Maxwell Laird but he stays out of his way and it works.  That is until the Laird comes to visit and basically tells Graeme that if he kills the Duke of Lattimer the Maxwell Laird would give him money and forgive the tithes that he’s late on.  Graeme is disgusted with the Laird but just shrugs it off.  He wants nothing to do with Dunncraigh and his issues with Lattimer.

Marjorie is headed to the highlands for her brother’s wedding.  He doesn’t know she’s coming but she decided to attend because A) She loves her brother and wants to meet his betrothed and B) London is frustrating the hell out of her.  She thought that now that she was a Duke’s sister (and not a ladies companion) and had money that she’d have it all but no one in London even acknowledges her being much less accepts her.  In fact people were nicer to her when she was a companion!  Once in the Highlands she stops with her companion and ends up getting kidnapped.

Graeme’s brothers, Brendan – 16, Dùghlas – 14 and Connell – 8, kidnapped Marjorie when they overheard her companion talking about how she’s the Duke of Lattimer’s sister.  Brendan gets the idea that they can ship her off as a bargaining tool to Dunncraigh and all will then be right with their world. Graeme, however, doesn’t see it that way, but he’s not sure what to do with the lass now that she’s there.  He eventually decides he needs to marry her but Marjorie aka Ree fights that.  Once she gets herself free she decides not to escape.  She doesn’t want anything bad to happen to the boys and she actually has kind of started to like Graeme.  Once she falls in love with him, however, she has to decide if she loves him more than she loves the dream she’s always had of being the belle of the ball in London.

This was a cute book.  Yes, it’s a story with a bit of Stockholm syndrome going on but I thought the way that Enoch wrote it all made it seem ok.  Also, let’s face it, this is a romance and fiction so…it is what it is. 😊

I loved the characters in this book.  Graeme was an honorable guy and despite the crazy thing his brothers did he was trying to make the best of it.  His parents had died and he had taken over the title, the lands, the cotters and the raising of his brothers when he was 20 years old and Connell was just 2 days old.  He’s had a lot of responsibility and has always done the right thing.  He was confused about his feelings for Marjorie at first but he soon embraced them and I loved that he did.  His brothers were cute – especially Connell.  He about made the whole book for me because he was so precocious. He also had a very large heart when it came to animals who needed a home. Loved. Him. Brendan was a typical surly teen and Dùghlas was just following along with his older brother.  They both ended up having a good side to them and I loved how they stood up for Marjorie in the end.

Overall it was a sweet romance and one I really enjoyed reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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