Publisher: Avon

Guest Review: Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase

Posted January 18, 2021 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #2
Also in this series: A Duke in Shining Armor, A Duke in Shining Armor
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

USA Today bestselling author Loretta Chase continues her Difficult Dukes series with this delightful spin on Shakespeare's classic, The Taming of the Shrew.

Cassandra Pomfret holds strong opinions she isn’t shy about voicing. But her extremely plain speaking has caused an uproar, and her exasperated father, hoping a husband will rein her in, has ruled that her beloved sister can’t marry until Cassandra does.

Now, thanks to a certain wild-living nobleman, the last shreds of Cassandra’s reputation are about to disintegrate, taking her sister’s future and her family’s good name along with them.

The Duke of Ashmont’s looks make women swoon. His character flaws are beyond counting. He’s lost a perfectly good bride through his own carelessness. He nearly killed one of his two best friends. Still, troublemaker that he is, he knows that damaging a lady’s good name isn’t sporting.

The only way to right the wrong is to marry her…and hope she doesn’t smother him in his sleep on their wedding night.

The second book in the Chase’s Difficult Dukes series has us seeing the man who almost married in book one.  The Duke of Ashmont, drunk at his own wedding hardly blinked in the first book when his bride took off on him and then eventually married one of his best friends.  He then duels with said friend and gets even drunker.  This is, of course, when he meets his heroine.  Of course it is!

Cassandra is an opinionated woman and does not keep her thoughts to herself.  If she thinks your being an idiot, she doesn’t hesitate to tell you so.  When she meets Ashmont he causes an accident that hurts one of her friends.  The whole village is poised to see what happens with Ashmont and Cassandra, but money talks, and Ashmont leaves without a trace.

The problem arises when Ashmont can’t get Cassandra out of his head.  He decides to woo her but he needs to change his spots before he can even think about that, and he’s not sure it can be done.

The story was a good one.  I didn’t like it quite as much as I liked book one in the series, probably because I didn’t like Ashmont and Cassandra as much as I liked Ripley and Olympia.  Despite that, I did like them and their independent thinking.

Cassandra was a bit brash about how she put things, but I really liked how she said what she meant and didn’t beat around the bush.  I also liked Ashmont and his dedication to winning Cassandra.  When the man put his mind to it, he was a force to be reckoned with.

I’m looking forward to book three in this series as we got a bit of a taste of it in this book.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another three years to get it.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

Difficult Dukes

four-stars


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Review: The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath

Posted January 15, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly
The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath
Narrator: Kate Reading
Series: Sins for All Seasons #3
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2), The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3), The Duchess in His Bed, The Earl Takes a Fancy, Beauty Tempts the Beast, Beauty Tempts the Beast , The Duchess in His Bed
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The bastard son of a nobleman, Finn Trewlove was a shameful secret raised by a stranger. As Finn came of age, he had secrets, too—the clandestine nights spent with an earl’s daughter. But her promise of forever ended in betrayal.

Driven by a past that haunts her, Lady Lavinia Kent seeks redemption in London’s underworld, engaged in a daring cause inspired by the young man to whom she gave her innocence, and who then proved himself a scoundrel by abandoning her.

When their paths cross again, they can’t deny the yearning and desire that still burns. As they discover the truth behind the deceptions that tore them apart, Finn and Lavinia must fight to reclaim what they’ve lost, no matter how dangerous—because love is worth the risk . . .

The early part of this novel switches back and forth between the present and 8 years prior, when Finn Trewlove and Lady Lavinia Kent met and fell in love. Something went horribly wrong between them, and we are slowly shown how events unfolded.

We were introduced to Lady Lavinia Kent in When a Duke Loves a Woman, where she left her affianced duke at the alter. She’s been hiding out in Whitechapel ever since, on a quest to rescue children from Baby Farmers – women who take in by-blows for a fee. She’s staying with the Sisters of Mercy, who are keeping the children she rescues, but they’re running out of bed space. Her ultimate dream is to find work so she can have her own foundling home, but her brother, the Earl of Collinsworth, has put out a reward for anyone who finds her and brings her home, and she isn’t able to move about freely. 8 years ago she was in love with a man, a commoner, who abandoned her. Since then her life has been pretty awful, and she’s determined to give these children better than she had. No matter the cost.

Finn was devastated when Vivi betrayed him. Because of her he spent 5 years in prison, nursing his need for revenge. But now that she’s in Whitechapel, he can’t hold onto his anger. Things take a devastating turn for them both when they realize neither was at fault for their separation. Finn would love to pick up where they left off, but Lavinia knows they’re both different people…and if Finn finds out all her secrets, he’ll probably hate her…

I enjoyed this story quite a bit. I liked seeing a younger Finn and Lavinia come to know each other and fall in love. I liked even more seeing the older, more mature versions of themselves doing the same. They both come to realize they would have had many more challenges had they married 8 years ago, and I liked that though they were committed then and now, they recognized their growth and appreciated the relationship more for it.

I was frustrated with how long it took Vivi to share her secrets with Finn, though I loved how supportive he was of her in the meantime. This was a sweet, second-chance romance and I was here for it.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

four-stars


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Review: The Duchess in His Bed by Lorraine Heath

Posted January 8, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Duchess in His Bed by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly
The Duchess in His Bed by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #4
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2), The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3), The Duchess in His Bed, The Earl Takes a Fancy, Beauty Tempts the Beast, Beauty Tempts the Beast , The Scoundrel in Her Bed
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Length: 11 hours and 42 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

11 hours, 42 minutes

For a duchess with practical desires, falling in love is an inconceivable part of her plan…

As owner of the Elysium Club which caters to women's fantasies, Aiden Trewlove is accustomed to introducing adventurous ladies to sin and vice. But he is uncharacteristically intrigued by the mysterious beauty who visits his club one night, yearning to indulge in the forbidden—with him. Drawn to her indomitable spirit, he breaks his rule of never becoming personally involved with his clientele and is determined to fully awaken her desires.

A recent widow, Selena Sheffield, Duchess of Lushing, has never known passion, not until Aiden's slow, sensual seduction leads her on a journey of discovery and incredible pleasure. But her reasons for visiting the notorious club are not all that they seem.

As Selena's motives become complicated by love, she finds herself with a most unexpected choice: forge ahead with a secret plan that could secure her future—or follow her heart which could prove ruinous.

I really wanted to like this book. I enjoyed Aiden in the previous books and I was curious about him and his lady love. Sadly, this book didn’t work for me.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m not going to recap the plot. The blurb does a pretty good job of outlining things anyway.

In general, I’m not a fan of the “slow seduction in a club” trope, and Selena’s reasons for wanting to be seduced did nothing to further the story for me. I never warmed up to her and therefore didn’t care about their romance. Maybe if she’d done the right thing earlier in the book I’d have felt differently, but the fact that she was still determined to stay her course at the 80% mark didn’t give me as the reader a lot of time to get over her actions. In fact, I lost more respect for her when she realizes the damage she’s going to cause Aiden with her actions, but stays her course anyway. Every time Aiden or someone else mentioned how “selfless” she was, I actually snorted out loud. A more selfish character I’ve rarely seen.

I liked Aiden and the Trewlove family, but Selena ruined the book for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

two-half-stars


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Review: Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath

Posted January 4, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly
Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #6
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2), The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3), The Duchess in His Bed, The Earl Takes a Fancy, Beauty Tempts the Beast, The Duchess in His Bed , The Scoundrel in Her Bed
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 383
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She wants lessons in seduction

Althea Stanwick was a perfect lady destined to marry a wealthy lord, until betrayal left her family penniless. Though she’s lost friends, fortune, and respectability, Althea has gained a scandalous plan. If she can learn to seduce, she can obtain power over men and return to Society on her terms. She even has the perfect teacher in mind, a man whose sense of honor and dark good looks belie his nickname: Beast.

But desire like this can’t be taught

Benedict Trewlove may not know his parentage but he knows where he belongs—on the dark side of London, offering protection wherever it’s needed. Yet no woman has ever made such an outrageous request as this mysterious beauty. Althea is out of place amongst vice and sin, even if she offers a wicked temptation he can’t resist. But as the truth of his origin emerges at last, it will take a fierce, wild love to overcome their pasts.

Beauty Tempts the Beast is the 6th and final installment in Lorraine Heath’s Sins for All Seasons series, which follows the Trewlove siblings as they find love and their places in the world.

This was probably my favorite Trewlove book to date. I really enjoyed Beast in the previous books, and I loved learning more about him here. I didn’t love Althea in the beginning, but I quickly warmed up to her. I liked them together. It was good to finally learn of Beast’s origins, but I liked that he was sure of himself and his place in the world before that came to be. Despite guilt he carried over past mistakes, he was accepting of who he was. I also liked seeing Thea grow into herself and find peace with her new lot in life.

Seeing all the Trewloves together was fun. I’m glad Heath didn’t feature them all as a way to close out the series, but rather integrated them naturally into Beast and Thea’s story.

All in all, a great novel and a good end to the series. I look forward to reading about Thea’s brothers in the future.

4.25 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: My Last Duchess by Eloisa James

Posted December 7, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: My Last Duchess by Eloisa JamesReviewer: Tracy
My Last Duchess by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #0.5
Also in this series: Wilde in Love, Too Wilde to Wed, Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3), Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #3), Say Yes to the Duke
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James returns to the Wildes series with a prequel about the Wilde children's parents, Hugo, Duke of Lindow, and Ophelia, Lady Astley.

Every Duke needs a Duchess...

Hugo Wilde, the Duke of Lindow, has a drafty castle, eight naughty children—and no wife. Ophelia, Lady Astley, has a fine house, one well-behaved daughter—and no husband.

Hugo takes one look at Ophelia and loses his heart, but she doesn’t want more children or a castle. She takes one look at him and heads for her carriage.

Desperate to find a duchess, Hugo identifies an appropriate lady to woo. Yet when he meets Ophelia again, the duke realizes that he will marry her, or no one.

Now he faces the greatest challenge of his life.

He must convince Ophelia that their blazing sensuality, his exquisite castle, and his eight charming children add up to a match made in heaven.

When duke finds his duchess, can he win her heart?

A Wildes series prequel about the Wilde children’s parents, Hugo, Duke of Lindow, and Ophelia, Lady Astley.

Hugo Wilde isn’t interested in getting married again.  His twin sister, Louisa, makes him think seriously about that choice as he has eight children, and they have no mother.

Hugo was in love with his first wife and they had three sons together. Unfortunately, she died.  His second wife he married just so his sons could have a mother – he was not in love with her.  She ended up having an affair and leaving her four small children with Hugo and obtaining a divorce (scandal!). He also had a ward that he adopted so that brought the children total up to eight.

He finally agrees with Louisa and heads off to London to find someone to mother his children.  He’s a duke so it won’t be that hard to find another wife, so he thinks.  All the women are a little leery of him as they know how many children he has and the divorce doesn’t help matters. Though Hugo has no plans to fall in love again, the minute he sees Ophelia he is sunk.  It is said that Wilde men fall in love at first sight and this is proving correct in the case of Hugo and Ophelia.

Ophelia is a widow with a two-year-old daughter. She loves being independent (she has more than enough money) and she loves being a true mother to her daughter.  She’s not interested in getting married again and she’s certainly not interested in taking care of 8 children who aren’t her own – even though the oldest 4 are older and away at school.

Hugo isn’t taking no for an answer and pursues Ophelia. They end up spending one night together and Hugo wants only her. Unfortunately, Ophelia is steadfast in her refusal and Hugo has no choice but to move on.  What he moves on to doesn’t make him happy, but hopefully will be a good choice for the many children whom he loves beyond all else. When Ophelia finds out he’s moved on, she starts to rethink her decision, but it may be too late.

This was a short but very sweet novella that I enjoyed immensely.  When I read romances about adult children I’m not normally interested in reading about their parents.  In this case, I was curious about Hugo – especially after hearing about his past wives. I wanted to know how he had met his third and final wife and I’m so glad I read it!

Hugo was charming, Ophelia was lovely, and their story was adorable.  I loved the children as they were so freaking cute! The questions the younger ones had for their potential mother were hilarious and they were so very serious about them, you couldn’t help but want to hug them.

Overall a great story and one that’s not to be missed.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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