Tag: Tracy’s Reviews

Guest Review: To Seduce a Stranger by Susanna Craig

Posted April 14, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: To Seduce a Stranger by Susanna CraigReviewer: Tracy
To Seduce a Stranger by Susanna Craig
Series: Runaway Desires #3
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation, Lyrical Press
Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-half-stars

After her much older husband dies-leaving her his fortune-Charlotte Blakemore finds herself at the mercy of her stepson, who vows to contest the will and destroy her life. With nowhere to turn and no one to help her, she embarks on an elaborate ruse-only to find herself stranded on the way to London. . .

More than twenty years in the West Indies have hardened Edward Cary, but not enough to abandon a helpless woman at a roadside inn-especially one as disarmingly beautiful as Charlotte. He takes her with him to the Gloucestershire estate he is determined to restore, though he is suspicious of every word that falls from her distractingly lush lips.

As far as Charlotte knows, Edward is nothing more than a steward, and there's no reason to reveal his noble birth until he can right his father's wrongs. Acting as husband and wife will keep people in the village from asking questions that neither Charlotte nor Edward are willing to answer. But the game they're each determined to play has rules that beg to broken, when the passion between them threatens to uncover the truth-for better or worse. . .

Charlotte has spent her life feeling unloved.  She was taken as a baby to her uncle’s house because her mother died and her father took off to parts unknown.  Since she was illegitimate they treated her as the hired help instead of family.  When things started heating up in France (her mother was French, her father an English Earl) she left and stayed with her father’s family in England.  They treated her horribly as well.  When an elderly Duke who was friends with her aunt offers for her she accepts and thinks that maybe she’ll now get the love that she’s been missing.  Unfortunately he doesn’t touch her physically and then dies 6 weeks later.

The will is read and Charlotte receives a huge portion of the Duke’s estate but his son, the new Duke, plans on proving that his father was crazy and getting the will overturned. Charlotte and her maid take off for London to stay in the house that was left to her but Charlotte believes she’s being followed by one of the Duke’s men so she trades places with her maid and stays behind at an inn.  Unfortunately she grabbed the wrong valise and the money she had stashed away is now with her maid.  Fortunately for her a kind man offers to take her with him to his family estate.

Edward Cary is the son of an Earl but his father is a monster.  He beats Edwards mother regularly and Edward would do anything to save her.  When he hears that she’s waiting to leave until Edward is in school he decides at the ripe old age of 9 to runaway so she can get away sooner.  He heads off and takes a job on a ship.  He returns to confront his father 22 years later but runs into Charlotte on his way back.

When Edward and Charlotte reach his family seat he finds it empty and in horrible condition.  He hears his mother died not long after he left home and his father went to London and never returned.  Edward introduces Charlotte as his wife to the “caretaker” of the property which puts them into an awkward position.  It also causes problems when a man claiming to be the new Earl (Edwards father apparently passed) shows up and recognizes Charlotte for the Duchess she is.  Both Charlotte and Edward need to come to terms with who they are and confront those who would keep them from claiming their titles.

To Seduce a Stranger was a good story.  I liked both Edward and Charlotte and while they each had their own issues, they were truly good people.  Charlotte had confidence in herself in some aspects of her life but she’s been told she wasn’t worthy of love and she believed it.  Coming to terms with the fact that she could receive that love from Edward took her a while but she finally saw it for what it was.

Edward had had a horrible life to a point but then a good one after that.  He’d seen horrors both at home and while on the ship but he’d survived and made a good life for himself in the West Indies.  I had to give the guy props, he’d not only done well but tried to help with the slave issue as well.  Just a good guy.  I liked that while Edward helped Charlotte he didn’t completely trust her right off the bat because A) she was someone who needed help and b) she was a woman. Charlotte knew that Edward was keeping secrets as well but she trusted him too quickly imho.  Edward was a smart man and I liked his character.

The book was a good one but was a bit crowded with characters.  There were so many supporting characters that it was hard to keep up.  There were also people who were mentioned or showed up, I assume from previous books in the series, that I was unfamiliar with.  I think the author assumed the reader had read those books so plopped their names in.  Despite that this was a decent standalone novel.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Shade’s Lady by Joanna Wylde

Posted April 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Shade’s Lady by Joanna WyldeReviewer: Tracy
Shade's Lady (Reapers MC, #6.5) by Joanna Wylde
Series: Reapers MC #6.5
Also in this series: Devil's Game, Reaper's Stand, Reaper's Fall, Reaper's Fire

Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

Looking back, none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t dropped my phone in the toilet. I mean, I could’ve walked away from him if I’d had it with me.

Or maybe not.

Maybe it was all over the first time he saw me, and he would’ve found another way. Probably—if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Shade always gets what he wants, and apparently he wanted me.

Right from the first.

Mandy is a waitress in a bar that the Reapers MC hang out in when they’re in town. On one night they’re holding a meeting in the back room and Mandy is their waitress. She feels the National President of the Reapers eyes on her but ignores it. Shade’s made it perfectly clear that he wants her but she’s not interested. Her soon to be ex-husband turned up a bad boy and that had her ending up in jail and now on probation.

At the end of the night Mandy’s current boyfiend, who’s a total douche, states that he’s purchased Shade’s bike that he has for sale. He states that Mandy needs to ride on the back of Shade’s bike and he’ll follow in the truck as he doesn’t have room. She agrees but when she gets there finds out that her boyfriend had offered her up as a whore for Shade to pay for part of the bike. Mandy is pissed and wants to leave but has no way home and no way to call anyone. She thinks Shade is a dick but ends up spending the night talking to him anyway and finds he’s a pretty decent guy. She gets to know more about the club as well and ends up seeing them for more of the family they are than just a bunch of thugs.

Mandy lives with her sister while she’s on probation and helps take care of her nieces. Their father is a deadbeat and a drug dealer and Mandy will do anything to keep him away from her family. Unfortunately he doesn’t stay away for long and then the shit really hits the fan.

Mandy just wants her family to be safe and strangely enough it’s Shade that ends up helping her. Despite trying not to she ends up falling in love with Shade but where will the relationship go when he’s not even in town for long?

This was a great little novella. I love the way that Wylde writes the guys from the Reapers and makes them real. Yes, they’re one pecenters but she writes them so you actually want to get to know them.

In this story I really loved Mandy. The girl had had it rough but still carried on. She did what needed to get done and didn’t complain about it. She had a running conversation with Wonder Woman going on in her head that I found hilarious. Seriously. she even had an argument with Shade at one point about how Wonder Woman could take Batman. Too funny.

Shade was a good guy. Sure, he had his issues but he took care of his family and even though he tried to fight it, that included Mandy as well. He did a lot for her and I loved him for it.

Shade’s Lady ended up being a really great novella and one I’d recommend even if you haven’t read any of the other Reapers books.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells

Posted April 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa WellsReviewer: Tracy
The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells
Series: Off-the-Wall Proposal #2
Published by Entangled Publishing, Lovestruck
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

The Proposal: Adeline Rigby will live with Accountant Jack Foster and pretend to be his fake fiancée for one month in order for him to seal a promotion to partner. In return, Accountant Jack Foster will intimately tutor Adeline Rigby in French before she leaves for Paris where she will fulfill her dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu.

The Terms:

1. Maintain distance. Three get-to-know-you dates before announcing their engagement will be tempting enough.

2. No kissing. Okay, fine. Three kisses. Maybe four. And neck kisses don’t count.

3. No touchy feely stuff. Or at least not too many public displays of touchy-feely stuff.

4. No sex.

5. All right, all right. One night of sex in order to be a believable engaged couple.

6. Two nights of mind-blowing sex to make sure first night wasn’t a fluke.

7. Absolutely, positively, no falling in love.

Adeline’s best friend introduces her to her brother, Jack.  Adeline falls and hits her head and has a mild concussion so Jack stays with her to make sure things are all good.  While they’re together they talk and Adeline finds out that Jack is up for a promotion. Jack says he probably won’t get it as his boss is really old-fashioned and believes that any partner needs to be married.  Jack is single so that counts him out.  Jack really wants that promotion as he’s a hard worker so he ends up asking Adeline to be his fake fiancé.  When her landlord decides to sell her condo she moves in with Jack and it’s the perfect time to try and sell their fake engagement to his boss and co-workers.

Adeline has agreed to be the fake fiancé but has no desire to go any further with it…at first. She immediately takes sex off of the table but is soon changing her tune.  Jack was left at the altar at one point in his life and has no desire to ever get married.  That’s until he gets to know Adeline better and ends up falling in love with her.  Soon Jack is saying things that are supposed to be fake but are he really means them.  Adeline thinks that Jack is incredibly hot but she has plans for her future and none of those include a man.

This book was part fun and funny and part heart-breaking.  The fun and funny part were when Jack and Adeline were together.  I loved that they could laugh at each other and have a good time.  Adeline was a bit of a stick in the mud but she was so fearful of getting off of her life track that she couldn’t bend.  The heart-breaking part was Adeline’s life.  She had been put into foster care at the age of 5 and had had 6 foster families until finally the 7th family stuck.  She loved her foster mother, Dottie, but Dottie not only had Alzheimers but breast cancer and was dying.  The cancer treatments were making her Alzheimers worse and she seemed to be stuck in one memory and unfortunately that memory of Adelilne was not a good one.  Adeline would go to Dottie’s house every Saturday night but Dottie wouldn’t let her in or even be nice to her.  In the end things were worked out between them but it was very sad and I definitely cried when Dottie was dying.

Overall I thought the book was a good one and will most likely pick up another Lisa Wells book in the future.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray

Posted April 12, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie RayReviewer: Tracy
Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray
Published by Entangled Crush
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
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three-half-stars

For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett is blindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett. CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…

Cece meets Emmett the first day of school in her literature class.  They seem to get along and Cece can’t help but notice how hot Emmett is.  Of course she doesn’t think anything will happen between them because of a scar that she has on her cheek.  Despite knowing most of the kids at her private high school there are still times when someone sees her for the first time and is horrified by her face.  Cece tries to take it in stride but sometimes it just hurts.

Cece is the captain of her volleyball team at her private school and she’s not one to mess around with it.  You’re there to work and to win.  The school even recruits a girl from California to come and play on their team.  The new girl, Bryn, is insanely beautiful.  Despite a rough start with Cece and comments about her scar the pair actually become friends. The problem is that Emmett is awestruck with Bryn’s beauty and asks if he can text her.  They exchange numbers.  Bryn is soon asking Cece for help because she’s just not good talking to guys.  Cece texts Emmett for Bryn but ends up telling him her feelings for him.  Of course he thinks that it’s Bryn where does that leave Cece?

This was a cute book.  It’s a play on the Cyrano de Bergerac story but slightly different. It’s also has a very close resemblance to the 1987 movie Roxanne, also a Cyrano story.  Cece talking under Emmett’s balcony acting like she’s Bryn, Cece giving a dozen better insults to her scar after a girl comes up with a
“unoriginal” one – even prefacing the insults as Steve Martin’s character did in the movie.  It was funny, don’t get me wrong, but a little too close to the movie.

Emmett and Cece are truly perfect for each other but Emmett likes her as a friend.  He’s so blinded by Byn’s beauty that he can’t see anything else.  Bryn is a great girl but not all that intelligent.  When she asks Cece to text and email Emmett she has no idea when they’re saying and just doesn’t care as long as she can sleep with Emmett.  Totally shallow but that’s Bryn.  While I found Emmett and Cece intelligent I found them to be almost too mature for their 17 or 18-year-old selves.  I kept having to remind myself that it was YA because it read like a super mature NA novel.

Despite those couple of things that I found a bit annoying I have to say that I really liked the book.  Emmett was a great guy and Cece was a wonderful girl.  They were written so well and I loved their perceptions of the world, literature and music. The supporting characters in the story were well written as well and they made things more young adult in the end.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de Winton

Posted April 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de WintonReviewer: Tracy
Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de Winton
Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-stars

Aspiring blogger Janie Milan is finally on her dream trip to Thailand. But when an unfortunate piña colada incident lands her in the path of a hot Scotsman, Janie finds herself dying to find out what's under his kilt. Only the frustratingly sexy man isn't who he's pretending to be…

After cutting a deal to keep his brother safe, Scottish heartthrob Blaine Galloway is hiding from the press. But his secret identity starts to slip the second he meets small-town blogger, Janie. Now the press is hot on their heels and Blaine’s life is tumbling into a tabloid-sponsored hell. Coincidence? He’s not so sure.

Janie is on the trip of her life in Thailand.  She needed to get away from her small town in Texas where her cheating ex was getting married to her ex-best friend.  Soon after she arrives she accidentally spills her piña colada onto a man who happens to be incredibly good looking.  She helps him clean up and they go their separate ways.  When they meet each other at breakfast the other day and find out at the same time that they’ve each been booked into a couples resort they take advantage and book a day trip together.  They get closer as they spend the days together and start to fall in love.

Blaine Calloway is a Scottish actor who needed to get away from his life and the press.  He’s taken a trip to Thailand because he figures it’s as far from the UK as he can get.  He ends up having a great time with Janie as he loves how down to earth she is.  She treats him like a real person, not an actor, even after he comes clean about who he is.

Unfortunately the press get wind of his getaway and come after him.  Blaine blames Janie and the shit hits the fan.  Can these two people be together when they feel they can’t trust each other?

This was an interesting little romance.  The idea of small town meeting foreign actor was a cute one and seemed to work at times during the book.  Unfortunately I didn’t feel like the H/h were suited to each other and had a hard time reading about them falling in love.  It wasn’t so much that they were different but that the way they were written I couldn’t feel it. Even when they were fighting with each other I didn’t feel the emotion between them and that was my biggest issue with the book.  If you can’t feel the love between characters how can you truly love their romance? You can’t.

Despite the lack of emotion I felt I thought that the Thai scenery was written really well.  I almost felt like I was there and I loved that.  It seemed like Blaine and Janie were going to wonderfully romantic destinations that were incredibly described.

The story is about not only two people falling in love but finding out where they belong in the lives they live.  Blaine needed to find out what he was doing with his acting career and Janie needed to find her place in her little town of Little Acre as it seemed as if she’d be stuck there the rest of her life.  She loved her family but she wanted to do more.  I thought this part of the book was well done as well and I liked seeing Janie with her little family that was a bit dysfunctional.

Overall it was a decent read but again, didn’t feel the love/romance at all.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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