Tag: Valerie Bowman

Guest Review: Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman

Posted July 12, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

15761707Tracy’s review of Secrets of a Runaway Bride (Secret Brides #2) by Valerie Bowman

The Thrill Of Escape

Miss Annie Andrews is finally free to marry the man she loves. With her overprotective sister out of the country on her honeymoon, nothing can prevent her flight to Gretna Green—nothing, that is, but an abduction by the wrong gentleman.

The Sweetness Of Surrender

When Jordan Holloway, the Earl of Ashbourne, promised to look after his best friend’s sister-in-law, he didn’t realize she would prove so difficult. But when he spirits her away to his country house to prevent her elopement, he discovers that the tempting beauty knows how to put up a fight. To make matters worse, he’s stuck playing the role of honorable protector…when what he really wants is to run away with her himself.

Anne Andrews has pretty much been left on her own in London. Her sister Lily is on her honeymoon and her chaperone for the month is her aunt by marriage, Aunt Clarissa. Aunt Clarissa is a bit of a lush so she’s really not all that much of a chaperone. Since Anne thinks herself in love with a man named Arthur Eggleston, and about six months ago had tried to marry him by heading off to Gretna Green. She was stopped then but she’s determined to get Arthur to marry her. Unfortunately Arthur’s not exactly coming up to snuff. Anne is kind of making a fool of herself trying to get Arthur’s attention and it falls to Lily’s friend Jordan Holloway, the Earl of Ashbourne, to try to keep her reputation pristine and Anne out of trouble. Unfortunately Anne is proving to be a royal pain in the ass.

Jordan saves Anne from herself time and time again and even saves her from yet another attempt to get to Gretna Green with Arthur. Jordan decides he’s had enough and drags Anne, her maid and Aunt Clarissa to his manor in Surrey to keep Anne out of trouble. While in Surrey Jordan tries to find an eligible bachelor for Anne to marry but when it comes down to it she decides she wants Jordan. He, however, decided about 6 years before that he would never marry.

This was a good little read. Anne was a bit of a pain in the ass but she was sweet and really had good intentions with everything she did. She had self-esteem issues as her sister is extremely beautiful and her father once told her that she was unremarkable. I couldn’t blame her for thinking that she wasn’t all that pretty as it had been drilled into her head, that’s for sure. I did think she was in love for love. I don’t know, she really seemed kind of finicky in the book and seemed to go from Arthur to Jordan pretty quickly. She did realize pretty quickly that Arthur wasn’t what she wanted but still – it was a bit frustrating.

Jordan was supposedly a rake but we really didn’t see that except for him with his mistress once. He really was an upstanding man and I liked him a whole hell of a lot. He tried to be honorable time and again when it came to Anne but she really made it difficult for him. He tried! LOL

Overall it was a decent story with some fun parts to it. I certainly liked it much better than book 1 and after reading an excerpt of book 3 I’m definitely interested.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

This book is available from St. Martin’s Paperbacks. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

What I Read Last Week

Posted June 17, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 2 Comments

“It’s just another manic Monday. Wowo wowo” (Starting with a little Bangles music from 1986.)

Actually I think the Monday so far is going alright but I’m still manic from this past weekend. On Saturday we helped some friends move and that was tiring of course. Then on Sunday morning I helped, with 3 other parent, run a youth group car wash fundraiser in the church parking lot. The adults moved cars and the youth group washed and dried while the car owners were in church. The wash was free we just asked for donations. We ended up raising over $1,000.00 so we were exhausted afterwards but quite excited. The money will help pay for the mission trip the youth will be on at the end of the month. They’re headed to the Diocese of Navaholand to help out. I think it will be great. My oldest is going – hopefully she’ll have a good time.

After I got home from car wash I wound down a bit and then my youngest asked the hubby and I to rearrange her room and add the bookshelf that’s been sitting in the garage forever. She’d asked before but the weekend schedule just never left enough time. Well it was mostly the Tracy show with the hubby coming in when he needed to muscle things around but it finally got done and looks great. It should after spending 5 hours moving, trashing and reorganizing the place! lol  Needless to say there wasn’t much time this weekend for reading but I did get some done this past week:

So, what did I read last week? 

I started the week with The Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman. This is book 2 in the Secrets Brides series and I have to say I liked this one much better than book one. In this story we have Annie or Anne who is love with a complete milktoast man who can’t seem to keep his own opinion. He’s always going with what others. If he’s with his father he goes with his pov. When he’s with Anne, he goes with her pov. Frustrating. Anne is making a bit of a mess of things as she can’t seem to leave Arthur alone and she’s pursuing him so that he’ll propose once again. They were stopped from getting to Gretna Green in the last book but that was 6 months before and she’s ready for the relationship to go to the next level. Her sister is on her honeymoon but before she left she asked a friend, Jordan Holloway, to look after Anne. He gets frustrated as well as he’s constantly trying to save Anne from herself but then falls in love with her himself. It was a very cute book and an enjoyable read. A bit predictable but fun, nonetheless. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Next up was Flirting With Disaster by Ruthie Knox. This story is about Katie who took off with her boyfriend when she was just out of high school and got married but he eventually took off leaving her high and dry. She’s back in her hometown of Camelot and her brother has gotten her off the couch and into the office in his security firm. He lets her take a case along with one of his security guys, Sean, who has liked Katie since he was in high school. He has a stutter though so tries to refrain from speaking as he’s sure he’ll much it up. They eventually work together on the case as well as in the bed but they both get more involved in each other than they planned. This was a good read as well. I liked that Sean stuttered and Knox didn’t have him magically saved by the end of the book. He was who he was and I loved it. You can read more of my thoughts here. 3.75 out of 5 

My next read was Damned if You Do: The Complete Collection by JL Merrow. This is the story of a male succubus and a police officer with the Paranormal Enforcement agency who meet and can’t keep their hands off each other. There are 4 novellas/stories in this m/m collection and they’re all very entertaining and sexy. I’ll post my review for this one later this week. 4 out of 5 

The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart is about a woman who is blind. She lives in a cottage at the corner of a Duke’s property but was abandoned by her family and the ton was lead to believe she was dead. When she witnesses a murder she heads to the Duke’s home and from there the duke and Mia become friends and then so much more. I really like blind heroines as they give a level of depth in a story that might not otherwise be there. Things get heated, especially when Mia thinks that the killer might be the duke’s brother. 3.75 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Last for the week was Life of the Party by Kate Davies. This is the 3rd and final story in the Girls Most Likely to… series. This story was Tess’s and it’s about her friend and kind of co-worker, Luke, getting together. She has self-esteem issues and he’s been burned by previous girlfriends due to his American Indian heritage. It was a good story and a good way to pass the time but nothing made it really stand out. 3 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Unforgiven by Anne Calhoun
Ellie’s Gentleman by Georgiana Louis

Happy Reading!!

Guest Review: Secrets of a Wedding Night by Valerie Bowman

Posted January 10, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Tracy’s review of Secrets of a Wedding Night (Secret Brides #1) by Valerie Bowman 

How to Stop a Wedding
Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill,has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…

How to Seduce a Widow

Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…

Our book begins with widow Lily Andrews attempting to find money in her account books that don’t exist. Lily, her sister Anne, their butler and one maid have lived off of 10 pounds a year for the past 5 years and the money is just not enough. Lily’s good friend James Medford is sponsoring Anne’s debut ball but they still need money to eat! The ironic thing is that everyone in the ton is under the impression that she’s rich. Not soon after the book begins Lily is visited by her old beau, Devon Morgan. Devon is pissed off that Lily wrote a pamphlet called Secrets of a Wedding Night and because of its content it has caused his fiance to call off the wedding. Devon doesn’t actually know for sure that Lily wrote it but that’s the rumor. I have no idea how that rumor is started or why anyone would think it was Lily but there you have it. Lily denies it but Devon is pissed and wants a retraction written. When Lily refuses Devon swears revenge. He assures Lily that since she wrote about the horrors of the wedding night that she just hadn’t been with a man who knew what he was doing. He tells her that he intends to seduce her and prove to her how wrong her pamphlet is. Right away I knew that the characters in this book were going to be overly dramatic. It didn’t bode well for the rest of the book but I read on.
The couple tends to ebb and flow in their love and hate for each other. They don’t trust each other, they don’t believe in each other – it doesn’t set things up for a solid HEA. Five years ago they were in love but she received a note on the morning that she was to elope with him saying he was crying off. He received basically the same note. For the last five years they’ve believed the worst about each other and for all of the conversations that are had over the course of the story they don’t clear that up until the end of the book. Why, oh why, did we have to wait? The story could have gone on had they known that info earlier! *sigh* She’s destitute but he just lets everyone think that he’s poor but he’s really quite wealthy. I understood this to a point but after all was said and done it just didn’t make that much difference in the story even though it was brought up constantly.
Anyway, Lily is shy and quiet one minute and saucy and provocative the next. It was a bit disconcerting going into each chapter not knowing what to expect. At times I really liked the couple but most of the time I found them childish and not all that likable. The heroine was controlling and manipulative and so was the hero in his own way.
When I finished the book and Lily and Devon had had their happily ever after I can’t say I was all that satisfied. The story is filled with dishonesty, rumors, innuendos and not so witty banter. I found the book to be frustrating and in the end just an ok read.
Oh…and an aside…see the man on the cover?  Is he wearing a corset?  I swear at first I thought it was her sleeve but when you look closely it’s black and very, uh, corset-like.  Opinion???
 
Rating: 2 out of 5 

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place
This book is available from St. Martin’s Paperbacks. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

What I Read Last Week

Posted January 7, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a safe and fun New Year’s Eve. We stayed home with the kids and ended up making cookies at 10:00pm! It kept me awake that’s for sure. lol I wish you a healthy and happy 2013!

This past week was nice. I had Monday and Tuesday off and only had to work 3 days last week which is always nice. It was a relatively quiet week as the kids were gone on Wed. & Thurs. as they spent it with my parents. I think I’d forgotten how quiet the house could be with just hubby and I (and the cat) in it. 🙂

Anyway, on to what I read this past week which was, except for one glitch, a really good reading week:

I started off the week with Live and Let Love by Gina Robinson. This story is about a spy who works for a division of the CIA. Jack was in an explosion two years prior and pronounced dead. He lived however and got plastic surgery and a new name. He was married though and one of his enemies is “courting” his wif, Willow, to try to draw him out because he apparently doesn’t believe that Jack is dead. Jack heads to Willow’s town to thwart the bad guy but he doesn’t plan on getting close to Willow as he can’t stand the pain of getting close and then having to leave again. This was a good story that was funny and serious in parts. I had a bit of an issue with Jack being able to leave his wife for two years but the author did a good job of making that seem insignificant. You can read my full review here at Book Binge. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was Quid Pro Quo by LA Witt and Aleksandr Voinov. This is story about 2 rent boys who work at a place called Market Gardens. Jared has had a crush on Tristan for months but doesn’t think that Tristan even knows who he is. When a client wants to watch Tristan and Jared together Jared gets to finally put his hands on Tristan the way he’s been dying to. Good story – hot and sexy. You can read my full review here. 4 out of 5 

Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft is the historical story of a captain of a ship and one of his lieutenants. It’s kind of a Murphy’s Law book of sorts as at one point there was nothing that wasn’t going wrong. It was a wonderful yet completely unexpected story that I loved reading. You can read my full review of it here. 4.5 out of 5  

My next read was Secrets of a Wedding Night by Valerie Bowman. The story is about a Countess who writes pamphlet about the secrets of a wedding night in order to try and stop the man she loves from getting married. It stops it but he’s pissed and swears that he will get revenge…by seducing her. There were huge trust issues from when they originally fell in love 5 years prior, there are honesty issues and frankly I found the heroine to be completely manipulative. In the end it was just an ok read. 2 out of 5 

Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway was an unexpected surprise. The story is about a woman who has been thought crazy – even put in lockdown because of her hallucinations. Turns out everything she though she saw was real and that she’s a witch. She doesn’t figure this out until she becomes a county coroner and on her first autopsy the body gets up and walks out. It’s crazy as she and the members of Precinct 13 try to find out where the corpse is and what the heck is going on. The story is a bit confusing at the beginning as it felt like there was a previous book – but there’s not. It got better as it went and I found myself laughing out loud more than once. Overall a good read. 3.75 out of 5 

Inseparable by Chris Scully is the story of Adam who is hit by a car and logically ends up in the hospital. When he awakens he finds he can’t remember a thing – including his best friend, Joe. Though Joe acts more like a boyfriend Joe tells Adam that while Joe is gay, Adam is not. As Adam learns more about himself though he finds that things aren’t exactly as Joe said they were. This was a fun story. I loved the slow awakening of Adam in several different ways. It was a great Christmas read. 4 out of 5 

Fourth and Long by Chris Scully is about Eric who is heads to his high school reunion with trepidation. Eric thinks about all the various things that happened during his senior year and specifically Prom Night but we don’t get the whole story at once – it slowly unfolds. That happens when Eric is sent back in time to his senior year and he realizes he has the opportunity to change things. A very good read that I really enjoyed! 4 out of 5 

Last was Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks. This is the story of Alaric McCabe who is hurt and ends up at the cottage of Keeley McDonald. She heals him to a point but then they are found by Alaric’s brothers and Keeley is taken back to McCabe lands to continue healing him. She is also to oversee the birth of the Laird’s baby. Keeley was thrown from her clan over something that she didn’t do and so being in the McCabe clan gives her a sense of family that she hasn’t had for years. She and Alaric also fall deeply in love but he is promised in marriage to the daughter of the McDonald clan and cannot break that promise. It’s a heart wrenching story that was oh so good. I just love Banks’ historicals so much! I can’t wait to read the next in the series to find out what happens with brother number 3, Caelen. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week: 
Live and Let Love by Gina Robinson 
Chance of a Lifetime by Jodi Thomas

Happy Reading!