Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath

Posted December 5, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly
The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath
Series: Once Upon a Dukedom #2
Also in this series: The Duchess Hunt
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Library, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath continues her Once Upon a Dukedom series with this lush love story of a duke who discovers what he desires in a wife may not be what he needs...
Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, is in need of a duchess. However, restoring the dukedom—left in ruins by his father—to its former glory demands all his time, with little room for sentiment. He places an advert encouraging the single ladies of the ton to write why they should be the one chosen, and leaves it to his efficient secretary to select his future wife.
If there exists a more unpleasant task in the world than deciding who is to marry the man you love, Penelope Pettypeace certainly can’t imagine what it might be. Still, she is determined to find the perfect bride for her clueless, yet ruthlessly charming employer.
But when an anonymous note threatens to reveal truths best hidden, Kingsland has no choice but to confront the danger with Penelope at his side. Beguiled by the strong-willed, courageous beauty, he realizes he’s willing to risk everything, including his heart, to keep her safe within his arms. Could it be the duchess he’s hunting for has been in front of him all along?

The Duchess Hunt is the second book in the Once Upon a Dukedom series. I switched between reading and listening. The narrator, Kate Reading, is a personal favorite.

The Duke of Kingsland needs a wife, but he can’t be bothered with trying to find one on his own, so he puts an advert in the Times and asks anyone interested in becoming his duchess to send him a letter with their qualifications. Naturally, everyone is interested as he’s a duke. When his first choice falls in love with another man, he gives the task of choosing the runner up to his secretary, Miss Penelope Pettypeace.

Penelope has been in love with Kingsland forever, but it’s a quiet kind of love. She’s damn good and her job and loves what she does. She isn’t willing to compromise that for a love that can never be. So she dedicates herself to finding the right girl to be the future Duchess. Things are going well until suddenly the duke seems to notices her as a woman. Where before he treated her well, but just like any other person in his employ, all of a sudden he’s treating her as a woman first. When something threatens to expose secrets neither want revealed, they both realize things are more complicated between them than they ever knew.

This was a great unrequited love story. Penelope was a lovely character. Her steadfastness and attention to detail really came through. She may have been in love with the duke, but it wasn’t a starry-eyed kind of thing. These were two adults who respected one another and I loved that. While I enjoyed the first book in the series, this is definitely my favorite so far.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Once Upon a Dukedom

four-stars


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Review: The Segonian by Dianne Duvall

Posted August 1, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Segonian by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Holly
The Segonian by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: Aldebarian Alliance #2
Also in this series: The Lasaran, The Segonian
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 435
Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the second stand-alone novel in a thrilling new sci-fi romance series full of action, humor, and happily-ever-afters.
Eliana's life has never been what one might term ordinary. At least, it hasn't been for a very long time. As a powerful Immortal Guardian, she spends her nights hunting and slaying psychotic vampires that most of humanity doesn't even realize exist. Then an opportunity arises that instantly makes her extraordinary existence seem downright boring. The leader of the Immortal Guardians asks her to guard a group of mortals who are embarking upon a voyage across the galaxy to the planet Lasara. How could she possibly say no?
In no time at all, Eliana is hurtling through space on board a Lasaran battleship and getting to know not one but two alien races. It's the most exciting adventure of her long life... until the ship is unexpectedly attacked. Amid the chaos and destruction that follow, she valiantly helps everyone she can before an explosion renders her unconscious. When Eliana awakens, she finds herself alone, floating in space, clad only in a spacesuit, with no ship in sight. Alone--that is--except for the warm, deep voice that carries over the comm in her helmet.
Commander Dagon and the crew of the Segonian battleship Ranasura respond to a distress call from their Lasaran allies and join a massive Alliance-wide search-and-rescue mission. He quickly achieves communication with a lone Earthling female and races toward her. Every time they speak, his fascination with her grows and he becomes more desperate to reach her before her oxygen supply runs out. Her strength, bravery, and humor entice him, even more so when she defies all odds and they meet in person.
As he and Eliana embark upon a quest to find her missing friends, a bond swiftly grows between them that deepens with every laugh and smile and tender touch they share. But they are not the only ones searching for Earthling survivors. When Eliana herself becomes the hunted and their enemies begin to close in, can the two of them fight their way to victory, or will their enemies take everything?

The Segonian by Dianne Duvall, the second book in the Aldebarian Alliance series, a spinoff of Duvall’s Immortal Guaridans series, features Eliana, a character we met in the previous series. She traveled in space to protect the Gifted Ones who chose to go to Lasara with Prince Taelon in the hopes of finding a quieter life. When their ship is attacked on the way there, Eliana ends up floating in space in a space suit. For weeks her only lifelines are Captain Dagan and the other Segonians on his ship. She’s never met them, but they become the most important beings in the world to her.

The early chapters where Eliana were floating in space were so gripping and heart-wrenching. Her strength and humor really came through, but I felt her loneliness and fear in a visceral way. I really love Eliana and Dagan. They had a great dynamic when all they could do was talk via comms. I also liked how they came to know one another once she was onboard his ship.

Their quest to find the others who were missing from the Lasaran ship was interesting, but I enjoyed their life on the ship more. Especially Eliana training with him and his men.

This is my favorite book in this spin-off series, and my second favorite of Duvall’s books to date.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Aldebarian Alliance

four-half-stars


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Review: The Segonian by Dianne Duvall

Posted July 20, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Segonian by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Casee
The Segonian by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: Aldebarian Alliance #2
Also in this series: The Lasaran, The Segonian
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 435
Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the second stand-alone novel in a thrilling new sci-fi romance series full of action, humor, and happily-ever-afters.
Eliana's life has never been what one might term ordinary. At least, it hasn't been for a very long time. As a powerful Immortal Guardian, she spends her nights hunting and slaying psychotic vampires that most of humanity doesn't even realize exist. Then an opportunity arises that instantly makes her extraordinary existence seem downright boring. The leader of the Immortal Guardians asks her to guard a group of mortals who are embarking upon a voyage across the galaxy to the planet Lasara. How could she possibly say no?
In no time at all, Eliana is hurtling through space on board a Lasaran battleship and getting to know not one but two alien races. It's the most exciting adventure of her long life... until the ship is unexpectedly attacked. Amid the chaos and destruction that follow, she valiantly helps everyone she can before an explosion renders her unconscious. When Eliana awakens, she finds herself alone, floating in space, clad only in a spacesuit, with no ship in sight. Alone--that is--except for the warm, deep voice that carries over the comm in her helmet.
Commander Dagon and the crew of the Segonian battleship Ranasura respond to a distress call from their Lasaran allies and join a massive Alliance-wide search-and-rescue mission. He quickly achieves communication with a lone Earthling female and races toward her. Every time they speak, his fascination with her grows and he becomes more desperate to reach her before her oxygen supply runs out. Her strength, bravery, and humor entice him, even more so when she defies all odds and they meet in person.
As he and Eliana embark upon a quest to find her missing friends, a bond swiftly grows between them that deepens with every laugh and smile and tender touch they share. But they are not the only ones searching for Earthling survivors. When Eliana herself becomes the hunted and their enemies begin to close in, can the two of them fight their way to victory, or will their enemies take everything?

The Segonian is not only a SF romance masterpiece, it’s my favorite SF romance ever. I’m not always a huge fan of SF, but I used to read it back in the day. This book had me from the first sentence to the last. I found that I couldn’t put it down, I was so invested in the story. I think that is the hallmark of a good book. While Dianne Duvall isn’t the best author I’ve ever read, she sure tells a hell of a story.

When Seth, the leader of the Immortal Guardians, comes to Eliana with a choice to travel to another planet, she jumps on it. Watching all her friends fall in love has left Eliana feeling like the odd man out. She’s more than excited to be going on such an amazing adventure. Her only job is to protect the gifted ones that are onboard the ship.

Quite unexpectedly, the ship is attacked and Eliana ends up floating in space. Her saving grace is a man’s voice that tells her he’s coming for her.

Dagon and his crew are on a search & rescue mission. When he finds Eliana, he immediately knows that he will not find her in time. He doesn’t know what or who she is. As a powerful Immortal Guardian, Eliana has capabilities that humans don’t have. One of those capabilities keeps her alive long enough for Dagon to find her.

Now that Eliana is on board, they resume their search & rescue mission. As the days, then weeks go by, both Eliana & Dagon lose hope. Then they learn that one of the gifted ones is alive and in danger. They race to the closest habitable planet, hoping against hope that they find who they are looking for.

Eliana was such a joy to read about. She has been alive for centuries, but she still appreciated the little things in life. I loved how she interacted with the crew & with Dagon. I loved when she finally convinced the men to fight her. I loved her love of spicy foods and her genuine love for the sun. I loved Dagon too, but Eliana stole the show with this one.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Aldebarian Alliance

four-half-stars


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Review: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton

Posted July 4, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie ThorntonReviewer: Holly
American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Biography, Historical Fiction
Pages: 448
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four-half-stars

A sweeping novel from renowned author Stephanie Marie Thornton...

Alice may be the president's daughter, but she's nobody's darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves--oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it's no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument--and Alice intends to outlast them all.

Alice Roosevelt MemeI recently saw a meme describing Alice Roosevelt online, which claimed, among other things that, “She smoked cigarettes in public, chewed gum, placed bets with bookies, rode in cars with men, stayed out late partying and kept a pet snake named Emily Spinach, which she often wore wrapped around one arm and took to parties.” It piqued my curiosity about her. I was hoping to read her memoir, Crowded Hours, but the only used copies I could find were outrageously expensive. I settled for this historical fiction novel based on her long life as “the other Washington monument”.

From all accounts, Alice was a formidable woman with a rapier wit and no fear of turning her barbed tongue on anyone – family, friend or foe. That was showcased well here, though I do wish some of it had been more show instead of tell. Emily Spinach, for example, the garter snake she used to carry in her handbag was mentioned in passing. I wish we’d seen more of that. Still, her life was a fascinating one. This novel details her childhood, her tumultuous relationship with her father and step-mother Eleonor, as well as her marriage and exploits well into adulthood to the end of her life. I know there were some creative liberties taken, but I found her life fascinating.

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit and plan to read her biography soon.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: A Sorceress of His Own by Dianne Duvall

Posted June 22, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: A Sorceress of His Own by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Casee
A Sorceress of His Own by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: The Gifted Ones #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 347
Length: 11 hours and 18 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Immortal Guardians series comes an enchanting new series full of romance, danger, and loyalty: The Gifted Ones
Since the day Lord Dillon earned his spurs, rumors of his savagery on the battlefield have preceded him into every room, stilling tongues and sparking fear. Weary of battle, he wishes only to find a woman he can wed who will approach him not with fear, but with the tenderness that has been absent from his life for so long. Yet only the wisewoman seems invariably at ease in his presence. Perhaps because she garners the same fear in others that he does himself.
For seven years, Alyssa has been by Lord Dillon's side, counseling him from the shadows, healing him with her hands, and staving off the worst of his loneliness while his fearsome reputation keeps others at bay. Blessed--or cursed--with gifts that label her a sorceress, she is forced to conceal her youth and the love she harbors for him beneath umbral robes that lead Dillon and his people to believe she is the same aged wisewoman who served his father.
All is revealed, however, and passions flare when an enemy threatens Dillon's life and Alyssa sacrifices everything to save him. When Dillon discovers that the wisewoman is far from elderly, he is instantly entranced. And, as he and Alyssa work together to defeat an enemy bent on destroying them both, Dillon will risk anything--even the wrath of his king--to be with her.

Alyssa has been in love with Lord Dillion for years. Although they can never be together, Alyssa has found a way to be there for Dillion. Taking her grandmothers position as Dillion’s healer & advisor, Alyssa will do anything to keep Dillon safe. She hates keeping her true self from Dillon, but she’s knows it’s necessary. Dillon has one confidant; his sorceress. The woman that heals him, helps him, and keeps him safe. Without her, he would probably be dead and he knows that. Over the seven years he has been an Earl, Dillon has developed a relationship with his sorceress.

Alyssa knows that they can never be together, even if Dylan did know who she truly was. Then she heals Dillon from a fatal injury, taking that injury on herself. While Dillon always thought she was an old woman, she is also his closest friend and confidant. He’s finally seeing his sorceress for who she truly is and he knows that he will never let her go. Damn the king and damn the rules. Alyssa is not a noblewoman and she knows that Dillon will lose everything if he tries to stay with her. She’s taking the time she has with him because she knows that it has to come to an end. Dillon is determined to find a way because he won’t give up the woman that he’s been looking for. Alyssa is everything he wants in a woman and more.

I loved both Alyssa & Dillon. I loved the banter, I loved how there were no games between the two. This is a true love story. I enjoyed every minute spent reading it.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

The Gifted Ones

four-stars


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