Publisher: St. Martin's Press

What Are You Reading? (+ Manda Collins Giveaway)

Posted August 9, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 12 Comments

Casee: I’m reading All of Me by A.L. Jackson. She’s a new-to-me author. I read the first book in her Confessions of the Heart series & really enjoyed it. All of Me is turning out to be even better.

I’m glomming Meghan March on audio. I listened to White Knight which is the second book in her Dirty Mafia Duet. I’m now listening to the Dirty Billionaire trilogy. I am really loving this author.

Holly: I didn’t read much this week. Things have been super crazy with back-to-school stuff and a major project I have going at work. I listened to Never Have I Ever by Lauren Blakely, which I adored, and read The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen, which was just okay. I also read The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan, which is a prequel to The Duchess War, after Tracy browbeat me into it. I loved it. I’m glad she forced talked me into it.

I started both Marry Me by Jo Goodman and Hope’s Folly by Linnea Sinclair to finish out our Summer Reading Challenge, but I didn’t get far into either of them. I’m hoping to finish them both this weekend. I’m currently listening to The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, and it’s just as fabulous as I remember. This is my first time listening to the audio. I’m enjoying the narrator.

Rowena: This week, I read The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare and I adored it. Penny and Gabe’s story was another fabulous historical romance and I can’t wait for Nicola’s book. I also finished Never Have I Ever by Lauren Blakely and OMG, I freaking LOVED that one. I listened to that book with a giant grin on my face because I loved everything so much. That book gets so much love from me. I also read The Duchess in My Bed (Sins for All Seasons #4) by Lorraine Heath and that was another emotional journey for me. This is hands down, my favorite series from Lorraine Heath and I have enjoyed all of the books that I’ve read by her. Gah, so stinkin’ good.

Right now, I’m finishing up my listen of The Iron Duke (Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook and I’m really into it. So good. I’m also reading Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart for a buddy read with Ames. It’s still early days so I don’t know if I like it or hate it yet. I’ll tell you guys next week.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Manda Collins Giveaway)One for the Rogue by Manda Collins
Series: Studies in Scandal #4
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Format: Print
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 305
Add It: Goodreads
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LOVE IS THE GREATEST DISCOVERY OF ALL

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing romance—and no patience for Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of always honing in on her territory. . .annoyingly handsome though he may be. But when a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offers of protection. Even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. . .

Lisle was once amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work. But now that he understands how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her genius—Lisle is desperate to prove his respect…and prove himself worthy of her. But is he too late? A bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Lisle help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms?

What Are You Reading: One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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What Are You Reading? (+ Tara Thomas Giveaway)

Posted July 26, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 10 Comments

Casee: I’m still reading Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh. I haven’t had much time to read this week. I think I’ve read one page.

I’m listening to Black Sheep by Meghan March. It’s an Audible Original and the narrators are Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber. Even if I didn’t like the book (which I do), I would like just listening to their voices.

Holly: I finished Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborne, which was just okay. I liked certain aspects of it, but there was a lot that bothered me. I adored The Duchess War by Courtney Milan. Both the h/h were wonderful, and I was sad to see it end. I finished Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson so I could review it with Casee and Rowena. I didn’t love it. Both the h/h were very immature and drove me crazy at different times throughout the book. I read The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran for our Summer Reading Challenge and really enjoyed it, though her constant use of exclamation points was annoying!

I reread Castle Hill by Samantha Young and Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson.

I’m currently listening to Falling Into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath and reading Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan.

Rowena: This week was an okay reading week for me. I started Count to Ten by Karen Rose the other day and while I’m really enjoying it, I feel like it’s taking me three years to read it. No matter how long I read each day (and I’m on Day 3 right now), I’m still just barely at the 50% mark. Either I’m a slow ass reader or I’m not enjoying this book as much as I thought. I couldn’t even tell you what it is either, haha. Oh well.

This week, I listened to How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou #1) by Molly Harper, it was the first book that I’ve tackled on my Summer Reading Challenge and honestly? I need to get my ass in gear for that because I’ve fallen so far behind. I enjoyed How to Date Your Dragon though. I’m definitely interested in reading the other books in that series. I also finished Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson and Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson. I liked Daisy’s Back in Town but didn’t love it and I didn’t like Like the Wind all that much. It was blah to me.

After I finish Count to Ten, I’m going to jump into Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop. Wish me luck!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Tara Thomas Giveaway)Broken Promise by Tara Thomas
Series: Sons of Broad #3
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Format: Print
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 277
Add It: Goodreads
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In this next novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

Exclusive bonus content available only in the print edition!

SHE SWORE TO KEEP HER PROMISES.

BUT CAN SHE KEEP THEM SAFE…AND PROTECT HER HEART?

Charleston Police Officer Alyssa Adams made a promise years ago to protect innocent women from harm. Now, she won’t rest until she can reunite every lost daughter with her family.Bring closure to every grieving husband. And, most of all, find out what happened the night her own sister disappeared, more than ten years ago…

As the eldest of the Benedict brothers, Kipling will stop at nothing to protect his family from a threat that aims to destroy them once and for all. But when a long-lost sibling is kidnapped by a powerful adversary, Alyssa is the only one he can turn to to get her back.

As Alyssa and Kipling band together to find their lost siblings, a powerful attraction builds between them that they can’t ignore. As the truth comes to light, will one broken promise tear them apart?

What Are You Reading: Broken Promise by Tara Thomas

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Lightning Reviews: The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada & Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Posted July 15, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

I’m not really one to write lightning reviews but I got a couple of books for review that I thought I would like but ended up either not caring for or just flat out not liking and there’s not much to say outside of, “Nah, this ain’t for me.” so here are my lightning thoughts on The Perfect Date and Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune.

Lightning Reviews: The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada & Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle LimReviewer: Rowena
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
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one-star

Angel Gomez only wants to get through nursing school and earn enough to support her mother and her son, Jose. Her bartending job helps bring in some extra cash, and the last thing she’s interested in is flirting or men in general.

Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is an up and coming star for the Yankees, known for getting around. However, his last breakup left him distracted and made him turn to drink. When he’s caught by the Yankees manager at a party instead of training, he’s suspended and sent back to the Bronx to get his head straight.

Angel and Duke’s worlds collide one night at the club and sparks fly. Though Angel wants nothing to do with Duke, he has no intention of letting her slip through his fingers. She isn’t star-struck by his fame, and this might be just what he needs to get things in order. He’ll do anything to convince her…even make her an offer she can’t refuse.

I ran across this book while browsing Netgalley a few months ago and since I’m a huge fan of baseball and diverse romances, I wanted in on this action. I got about halfway through this book before I stepped away for good. I couldn’t stand the heroine, the hero was a dick and I couldn’t connect with a damn thing in this romance. I thought that I would for sure connect with the heroine since she’s a struggling single Mom, trying to take care of her young son at any cost. She’s doing what she needs to do and she’s killing it as best as she could but holy cow did her attitude piss me off more than once. On top of that, the hero is a baseball player who acts likes a little bitch and I just couldn’t for the life of me believe that he was the actual hero. I mean, sure, he was good with Angel’s son Jose and he was a great teammate but for the most part, I wanted to bitch slap him into next week with every single page I turned. When I started feeling my blood pressure rise, I knew it was time for me to step away and move on to something else because hoo boy, this book was not for me. I do not recommend this one.

Final Grade

1 out of 5

Lightning Reviews: The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada & Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle LimReviewer: Rowena
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 305
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars

At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant's fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother's cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around--she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

I came across this one while browsing Goodreads and it looked like something I would normally enjoy but for some reason, I just couldn’t connect with it. The story itself was really slow and Natalie Tan just wasn’t a character that I’ll remember much about. It took me foooorrreeeevvvverrrr to get this book read and when I finally finished, I was glad to finally be done with it. It was so easy for me to walk away from this book because, to be honest, I was bored. I thought that I’d enjoy it a lot more than I actually did. Sometimes the magical realism stuff works for me but for some reason, it didn’t completely work for me here. I did think parts of the book were interesting. I thought it was interesting that the state of the neighborhood was tied into how well Natalie’s grandma’s restaurant did. I also enjoyed seeing some of Natalie’s magic with the food but overall, this book was just okay to me. I’m seeing that a lot of people enjoyed this book but as much as I wanted that to be the case for me, it wasn’t and that bums me out.

Final Grade

2.5 out of 5

one-star


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Sunday Spotlight: Once Upon a Bad Boy by Melonie Johnson

Posted July 14, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Once Upon a Bad Boy is the third book in Melonie Johnson’s Sometimes in Love series and it’s a second chance romance that you won’t want to miss. We’re super excited to be featuring this book on our Sunday Spotlight so check it out…

Sunday Spotlight: Once Upon a Bad Boy by Melonie JohnsonOnce Upon a Bad Boy by Melonie Johnson
Series: Sometimes in Love #3
Also in this series: Getting Hot with the Scot
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

NEVER SAY NEVERSadie Gold is ready to take her career to the next level with the role of a lifetime. Finally, she can shake her reputation as a pretty face with more wealth and connections than talent. But Sadie is not prepared for the wild turn her own life is about to take. The man in charge of training Sadie for her most demanding role yet is none other than her first real boyfriend—the one who took her heart and ran away.

WHEN IT COMES TO LOVEBo Ibarra is as good-looking and irresistible as ever. Maybe even more so, now that everything once worked against them—Sadie’s pampered and privileged upbringing and Bo’s childhood in a family struggling to make ends meet—is in the past. But the future is still unwritten…and getting there, together, means coming clean about painful secrets and slashing through nasty tabloid rumors while trying to control the attraction that crackles between them. Maybe it’s finally time for them to walk off into the sunset and into a true and lasting love?

Excerpt

“This looks cozy.” Someone observed from behind them, the low male voice tinged with a hint of mockery.

Sadie froze. No way. She hadn’t heard that voice in more than ten years. But she recognized it immediately. No freaking way.

Maybe she was wrong. She was probably wrong. She had to be wrong.

Beside her, Ryan turned toward the voice. “Bo! Hey, man, what’s up?”

Bo. The name slammed into her gut, as if someone had written it on a piece of paper, tied it to a boulder, and hurled it straight at her.

Oblivious to her sudden discomfort, Ryan stood, shaking hands with the person behind them. Sadie remained frozen. She had not been mistaken. How did this happen? What was he doing here?

“Sadie?” Tugging on her elbow, Ryan provided the answer. “Say hi to our stunt coordinator, Bo Ibarra.”

Not trusting her ability to stand, Sadie, glanced over her shoulder. “Hi.” She smiled weakly then forced herself to look up, meeting his gaze. “Stunt coordinator, huh?”

“That’s right,” Bo said. His light brown eyes were exactly the same. Still, that unique tawny shade that reminded her of an Irish halfpenny she’d once found in her nana’s coin collection, still framed with the most incredibly long and ridiculously thick eyelashes she’d ever seen. His hair was darker, only streaks of the golden blond she remembered glinting here and there. And shorter, much shorter. Last time she’d seen him, it had brushed his shoulders. But what hair Bo had chopped off on top of his head, he’d made up for on his face.

A full beard covered his lean cheeks, hiding the cleft she knew dimpled the center of his chin. The fact she was aware of that feature despite it being hidden from the world felt . . . intimate. Sadie squirmed in her seat, recalling all the times she’d pressed her lips to that dimple. Dragging her attention away from that spot, she noted the beginnings of laugh lines creasing the corners of his eyes. She wondered if, besides the cleft, the beard hid more laugh lines around his mouth.

Had there been much laughter in his life? She hoped so. “Bo-dacious is one of the best in the biz,” Ryan continued, patting Bo on the back. “Soon as my agent told me we’d be filming in Chicago, I got on the horn and insisted they hire you, man.” Ryan turned to Sadie. “Ain’t nobody better to have your back than Bo-dacious here.”

“Dude, come on, I told you to knock it off with that Bo-dacious crap,” Bo said, taking the sting out of his words with a light punch at Ryan’s arm.

“You have a stunt company?” Sadie asked, unable to mask the surprise in her voice.

“I do,” he said. “Windy City Stunts.”

“I’ve heard of it.” Sadie nodded. “But I didn’t . . .” She hesitated. “I didn’t know it was your company.”

“It is.” His mouth twisted.

The answer was spoken softly, but his words were sharp. Biting. An accusation. An acknowledgment of the fact she’d not bothered to stay up to date on what he’d been doing in the years since . . . well, in the years since she’d last seen him.

She hadn’t. She’d been afraid to. And she never thought she’d see him again. Certainly not here. Not now. Not like this.

Digging deep, Sadie got to her feet and turned to face Bo. He seemed bigger than she remembered. Not in size exactly, not taller or thicker, but sturdier. More substantial. The last time she’d seen him, they’d been teenagers. A man stood before her now.

“That’s great,” she managed.

“Yeah, I started with some freelance gigs. Did that for a couple of years before helping form WCS. Now it’s become the number one source for stunt performers in Chicago.”

The pride in his voice was unmistakable, and well- deserved. The company had an excellent reputation— even she knew they were the go-to company to hire in this city.

“Wow. I’m happy for you,” Sadie said, and meant it too. Despite everything that lay between them, everything that had happened, she was truly glad to see him doing so well.

“Hold up.” Ryan glanced between her and Bo. “Do you two know each other?”

For a moment, neither of them answered.

“Yeah.” Always the braver one, Bo spoke first. “We were friends as kids.”

“Yep,” Sadie agreed brightly. Too brightly. “Friends.” Throat tight, eyes stinging, she added, “Although it’s been a long time. Ten years, I think?”

“Eleven,” Bo said, eyes never leaving her face. “But who’s counting.”

Sadie’s heart began to beat faster, wild and fluttery, thumping against her sternum like a bird trying to escape its cage. She knew exactly how many years it had been. Despite her best efforts, she’d never been able to stop keeping track.

“Small world, huh?” Ryan chuckled, either completely oblivious to the tension zipping around him or a better actor than she’d realized. “I met Bo last year when I guest-starred on an episode of Chicago Rescue. He set up this amazing stunt, right? An explosion that sent me flying out a twelfth-story window.” Ryan brushed one palm over the other, pumping a hand skyward, as if to demonstrate his airborne body.

Sadie’s skin crawled at the thought.

“Got any cool stuff like that planned for us, man?” Ryan asked, eager as a kid about to ride a roller coaster.

Sadie hated roller coasters. Hated heights of all kinds, actually. She didn’t even do well with escalators. Bo, of course, knew this.

Fuck. She jerked her head toward him. Would he use that knowledge against her? He could. Easily.

“I have some ideas,” Bo answered Ryan, but kept his gaze on her, his tawny eyes giving away nothing.

“Do stunt coordinators usually come to first reads?” Sadie asked, struggling to hide the wave of anxiety crashing through her.

“Occasionally.” Bo shrugged, the thick line of his shoulders rising and falling. “Depending on the complexity of the stunts, directors will sometimes ask me to sit in on a read, so I can get a feel for things. Identify potential problems.”

As he talked, he’d begun rolling up the sleeves of his shirt. Sadie tried not to stare as the strong masculine lines of his forearms were revealed. What was it about a man rolling up his sleeves that immediately upped his hotness factor? And with a guy like Bo, whose hotness level was already off the charts, it simply wasn’t fair. “Is that what you’re doing today? Identifying potential problems?” Because she could think of a few.

Bo looked at her, a knowing twinkle in his eye as if he was aware of how discombobulated she was. “For one, I’ll decide which stunts I think are suitable for the actors to perform themselves.”

“Oh?” Sadie rubbed her palms on her jeans.

A grin curved one corner of his mouth as he nodded. “Don’t worry, I’m not here to make anyone do anything that makes them uncomfortable.” The teasing edge of his smile eased the vise around Sadie’s heart.

Sometimes in Love

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: July 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Melonie Johnson

A Star Wars junkie and Shakespeare groupie who quotes both Yoda and the Bard with equal aplomb, she met her future husband in that most romantic of places—the mall—when they were teenagers working in stores across the hall from each other. Today, they live happily ever after in the magical land midway between Chicago and Milwaukee with their two redhead daughters, a dog that’s more like a small horse, and a pair of hermit crabs. After earning her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie taught high school English and Theatre in the northern Chicago suburbs for several years. Now she writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin.


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch

Posted July 11, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Tracy
A Beginner's Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Scandalous Brides #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

All of London is abuzz with the return of the utterly alluring, recently widowed Diane Benchley. Will she remarry? What will she do with her late husband’s fortune? Society is shocked by her announcement—at the Grand Ball, of all places!—that she plans to open an exclusive gentleman’s gaming club in the family mansion. But no one is more stunned than the Marquis of Haybury, Oliver Warren.

Years ago, Oliver and Diane shared a private indiscretion. Now Diane threatens to reveal Oliver’s most ungentlemanly secrets…unless he agrees to help her. A notorious gambler—and rake—Oliver is overqualified to educate Diane in the ways and means of running her establishment. But striking a deal with Diane might just be the biggest risk Oliver has ever taken. This time, the only thing he has to lose is his heart…

Diane Benchley wants to get back what she feels was taken from her and that was a decent life with a husband who wasn’t a complete ass. Her husband died but left her penniless and in a ton of debt because of his gambling. Diane took up with Oliver very quickly thereafter but he up and ran out on her without a word. Now Diane is back in London and looking to start a Gentleman’s Club that is run strictly by women. Her backer falls dead but she has something on Oliver and blackmails him into helping her with the money she needs.

Oliver isn’t sure what he thinks about this “new” Diane. She knows her mind and isn’t going to put up with anything from Oliver – including suggestions about the club. In fact she hates him. He can understand why but when he realizes that she holds his heart he’s determined to do anything he can to get the woman he loves to see him as a man and not just a bank.

Diane has her hands full getting the club running and keeping her former brother-in-law from taking her to court to prove that the house that the gentleman’s club is in is actually legally his and not hers.

This was a pretty interesting book but I had a couple of issues with it. While I really liked the thought of Diane starting the club I really didn’t get to know Diane all that well. We definitely got more thoughts from Oliver than Diane. Also, because so much of the book was focused on getting the club up and running I thought that the romance suffered for it.

I very much liked Oliver and I thought his part in the book was really good but I just didn’t see Diane falling for him. She did, in the end, but I just didn’t feel like she had completely forgiven her for her part in their past.

Like I said, the setting up of the gentleman’s club was quite well done. With Diane’s former b-i-l making waves the plot to get him to stop was pretty clever and I very much enjoyed watching that unfold.

So while I thought the book was very good it was pretty light on the romance, imho. I did read the excerpt from the next book and it sounds quite good as well – can’t wait to read it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Scandalous Brides

four-stars


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