Tag: Miranda Neville

Guest Review: The Ruin of a Rogue by Miranda Neville

Posted August 27, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

17334153Judith’s review of The Ruin of a Rogue (The Wild Quartet #2) by Miranda Neville

It’s been years since Marcus set foot in England—why toy with the tonwhen he can fleece wealthy fools in Paris and Rome? Yet everything changes when he inherits a ramshackle estate. Marcus’s first and only chance at a respectable life needs funding . . . the kind Anne Brotherton can provide. Such a wallflower should be ripe for the picking. So why does Marcus fell like he’s the one hanging by a thread?

Anne Brotherton is sick and tired of being an heiress. She cannot bring herself to marry a fortune hunter. Why can’t men like her for her sharp mind and kind hearts rather than her impressive dowry?  She nearly falls for Marcus’s smooth seduction. But when Anne realized she’s being strung along, a lust for payback empowers her like never before. Two can play the game of deception. The game of love, however, has its own rules.

He’s a disenfranchised nobleman’s son who has left England to fleece the rich and famous of Continental Europe.  He’s a man who has found a way to live by his wits, love and leave the most beautiful women abroad, and to not think or feel too deeply.  It’s safer and more comfortable that way.  Yet when he inherits an estate he is also in the midst of what he and every professional gambler dreads:  a very bad run of luck.  And as it turns out he can’t even seem to reel in an heiress who appears to be ripe for the plucking.  Yet Marcus appears to have met his match in the smart and wiley Anne Brotherton, a woman who could have had any fortune-hunting husband she wanted.  She wants a man who cares about her, who values her as a person, who loves her mind as well as her body and her dowry.

This is a witty and decidedly fun read, one that will pique the sense of humor and tickle the funny bone.  It is lighthearted in so many ways but there is that sense of shadow behind both these main characters.  Both live with a sense of disillusionment even though Marcus has exploited weakness and knows how to spot it dead on.  Anne is also a woman who has lost that sense of wonder of the world, and this book is really the story of some very different ways these two manage to recapture that verve and vitality that authentic loving impart.  It doesn’t either appear to be or feel like a deeply intriguing story;  that perception is inaccurate on many levels.  There is a pervasive sadness in both these people that the author manages to keep in balance with the humor and deliciously funny repartee as each of these people works to find a place in the world where they feel at home.

It’s a well-written book, excellent use of the language with an economy of words.  It’s a creative storyline that is well-developed and populated with colorful characters, many of whom have no gilt left, who used to sparkle and don’t anymore, but that’s OK.  They’re are far more real now.  I recommend this book as being a very entertaining read and one historical romance readers are sure to enjoy.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

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

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What I Read Last Week

Posted October 29, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 7 Comments

Hello again!

I hope you had a wonderful week last week and a great
weekend.  Mine was definitely an up and
down week.  It started off well but then
I got the migraine from hell and wanted to shoot my head off.  I didn’t want to die, just get rid of the
pain! lol  It took a couple of days and
lots of darkness and quiet but it finally went away.  Things went up from there but then down again
when I found out that a friend of mine who has been battling cancer died.  He was so young at 48.  If you pray, please send a prayer up for Rey
and of course his family, thanks.
This weekend was a running errands nightmare but kind of fun
I a way.  My oldest and I spent a lot of
time with just the two of us as my youngest spent the weekend with a
friend.  My youngest went to Magic Mountain’s
Fright Fest and went on the Drop of Doom which is 400 ft. high. 
She’s a brave little shit cuz you wouldn’t see me on that ride….ever.  Here’s the picture that her friends’ mom took
while they were waiting in line. 
Wow.  Uh, no…just no.

So where did  I leave
off with my ereader saga?  Let’s
see.  Mine previous Kindle crapped out and I bought
another new to me but used 2nd Gen Kindle.  That one sucked and I sent it back for a
refund.  I bought another one and that
FINALLY showed up on Friday and it’s WONDERFUL – works perfectly!  I wasn’t without an ereader for long but that
time I was?  Sucked.  Lol  I
was dragging my laptop around so I could read my ebooks and, yeah, I wouldn’t
recommend that but it got the job done.   
So on to what I read this past week:

I started off the week with Her Highness and the Highlander
by Tracy Anne Warren.  This is the story
of a foreign princess who has been attending school in Scotland.  She’s on her way to London when her carriage is set upon.  She escapes but when she ends up in a village
looking worse for wear no one believes that she’s a princess.  One man who is at the tavern feels pity for
her and gets her a room, food and a dress but refused to accompany her to London as she asks.  He eventually succumbs and they fall in love
along the way.  The story was cute but
improbable.  Not impossible but I just
didn’t buy it.  Yes, it’s fiction but
this particular story didn’t sell me on the princess falling in love with the
poor highlander.  3 out of 5

Next up was a re-read of The Englor Affair by JL Langley.  Payton who is a prince from
another planet is on Englor undercover. 
He’s trying to hack into computers and decipher messages to see if the
Englor Prince, Simon, is working with the IN. 
Payton is told to stay away from Simon but when he meets a hot hunk of a
man in the locker room on the base he doesn’t think that the two Simon’s are
the same guy.  They are.  Payton’s head over for Simon and Si really
likes Payton but on Englor homosexuality is really not accepted.  Not punishable by death but highly frowned
upon.  When Si and Payton are found in a
compromising position and Si finds out who Payton really is he offers to marry
him but that opens its own can of worms. 
The Englor Affair was a great book. 
I didn’t think that it was as good as My Fair Captain, the first book in
the series, but it was excellent in its own right.  5 out of 5

Miracle in New Hope
by Kaki Warner is a novella about a man who keeps to himself but is hearing a
little girl’s voice who asks him to come for her.  He figures out who the girl is and then
confronts her mother who tells him that the girl is dead.  He doesn’t believe it and strikes out to find
her – while falling in love with her mother. 
This novella doesn’t come out til early December but I couldn’t wait to
read it.  It was very sweet and I loved
Daniel’s perseverance.  I’ll post my
review closer to the release date. 4.25 out of 5

Next was The Second Seduction of a Lady by Miranda Neville.  This story was about Eleanor
who fell in love with Max five years earlier. 
She then found out she was part of a bet and never spoke to him
again.  Max was in love with Eleanor
despite the bet and when he meets her 5 years later he makes it his goal to get
Eleanor back.  You can read my review
here. 3.75 out of 5

My Tracy’s
TBR Challenge read for the week was Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry.  I think this is my favorite
Mayberry yet.  The story is about Violet
who does NOT like her best friends’ boyfriend, Martin.  When her friend leaves London
for Australia
after breaking up with Martin, Violet takes pity on Martin and takes him a
bottle of alcohol to soothe him.  One
thing leads to another and Violet and Martin are in a sexual relationship.  But Violet is horribly guilty because she
hasn’t told her friend and when the relationship turns serious she knows she
can’t keep it a secret any longer.  While
this story definitely wasn’t as lighthearted as some others of Mayberry’s I’ve
read it was just so good.  The tension in
the story was so thick but I loved seeing Martin and Violet trying to figure
out what the hell was going on.  I
thought for being such opposites (he’s stuffy and she’s…not. At all.) they were
wonderful together.  I definitely
recommend this one.  4.25 out of 5

Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis is the 3rd book
in the Animal Magnetism series and this story was about Adam.  Adam has some serious PTSD and he’s just
trying to get back on his feet while battling the nightmares he experienced
while a soldier.  He helps his old flame
Holly when she asks for his help finding her father and their relationship
reignites – even though he’s not sure that’s a good idea.  The story is good and I loved Adam to
pieces.  Read this one for Book
Binge.  3.75 out of 5

Last for the week was Midnight in Your Arms by Morgan Kelly.  This is a story set both in 1866
and 1926 and has a time travel aspect to it. 
The story goes that Laura inherits a home that was willed to her in
1866, before she was ever born.  She has
been dreaming about the house since she was small but being a psychic she didn’t
think too much about it.  When she gets
to the house she ends up meeting a man who is in 1866 and the walls of time
seem to crumble from time to time – especially around midnight.  The story is about the couple falling in love
and trying to find a way to be together. 
It was a darker novella and a bit confusing at times – as it’s said that
time is basically a continuous loop and the life they’re experiencing has
happened before – but it was good.  3.5
out of 5

My Book Binge Reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Review: The Second Seduction of a Lady by Miranda Neville

Posted October 28, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Eleanor Hardwick and Max Quinton shared one night of incredible passion . . . that was shattered the next day, when Eleanor learned of a bet placed by Max’s friends. Now, five years later, Max still can’t get Eleanor out of his head or his heart. He has a single chance to make a second impression—one that will last forever.

Max Quinton, along with a bunch of other men, took up a bet that they could kiss a woman he’d never met or seen who supposedly was a haughty, cold-hearted bitch. The man who said that about her was pissed off at Eleanor at the time but still…when all was said and done and everyone put their money in it was 200 pounds on the line. For a man who’s fortune isn’t huge that looked like a lot of money. When Max sees Eleanor for the first time, however, he’s mesmerized. He is completely smitten and ends up spending a week in her company at the horse races. They end up in a more intimate situation but as Max will be asking her to marry him he feels it’s all ok. The problem is that when it’s all said and done Eleanor took off without a word and returns all of his mail unopened. Max is devastated. Now it is five years later and he sees Eleanor again and finds that he’s just as much in love with her as he was before, maybe more. They are temporarily neighbors and he tries to see her every moment he can.

Eleanor is now thirty years old and she’s set her mind on never getting married. She saw her parents marriage and the sadness that plagued her mother. Her father was in his own studios world. She’s seen time and time again how marriages just don’t work and she doesn’t ever want to subject herself to that. She has money that came from her mother and no one tells her how to spend it or how to spend her time. She likes her independence! But if she’s honest with herself she never did fully get over her feelings for Max and the more she sees him the more her feelings grow. Unfortunately for Max there’s still the whole I’m-never-getting-married issue that Eleanor is determined to adhere to.

This was a very cute novella. I love reading about couples reuniting – especially after one has been hurt. I think that they dynamic between the two people is a bit more intense because of past hurts.

Eleanor had every right to be upset at Max – or so she thought. Facts come out during the story that prove that Max was sincere in his feelings for her. But when Eleanor thinks about it she still wants to be single. I was so happy to see Max not giving up on Eleanor as I’m sure his pursuit of her was incredibly frustrating. Eleanor was a tad melodramatic but still a great character. I admired her fortitude in the face of her many, many relatives as she was a caretaker. She took her “duties” seriously, she just needed to think of herself a bit more and what she wanted from her future.

Max was wonderful. Seeing him court Eleanor in his own sneaky and underhanded way was wonderful – he was a charmer, no doubt about it. The fact that he never gave up on his love for Eleanor warmed my heart and I wanted nothing more than for them to be together.

I thought the story was charming and I spent a nice bit of time reading about these great characters.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Miranda Neville

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Review: Confessions from an Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville

Posted April 4, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins
In London after a two-year exile, Lord Blakeney plans to cut a swathe through the bedchambers of the demimonde. Marriage is not on his agenda, especially to an annoying chit like Minerva Montrose, with her superior attitude and a tendency to get into trouble. And certainly the last man Minerva wants is Blake, a careless wastrel without a thought in his handsome head.

The heat and noise of her debutante ball give Minerva a migraine. Surely a moment’s rest could do no harm … until Blake mistakes her for another lady, leaving Minerva’s guests to catch them in a very compromising position. To her horror, the scandal will force them to do the unthinkable: marry. Their mutual loathing blazes into unexpected passion but Blake remains distant, desperate to hide a shameful secret. Minerva’s never been a woman to take things lying down, and she’ll let nothing stop her from winning his trust … and his heart.
Minerva Montrose might be young but she’s got almost her whole life planned out. She’s a very political girl and in her first season she plans to marry a man who is moving fast and furious up the political ladder of success. She has chosen a man and sooner or later she will be the Prime Minister’s wife. During her come out ball though her life changes drastically when the son of the Duke who is sponsoring her ball ends up with his head up Minerva’s gown.
Lord Blakeney is in London after two years in Devon taking care of an estate/farm. He recently procured a wonderful mistress and he plans to spend as much time as possible with her. During Minerva’s come out ball he hears of a assignation that will occur. He himself had been with the woman and in the drunken stupor he’s in decides that he will get to the woman first. He heads to the library a little before the assigned time and finds the woman asleep on the settee. With the devil driving him he plans to wake the woman in an oh so delicious manner. He’s almost to his destination when the library doors are opened and about 10 people are there watching. He pulls his head from the underside of the dress and discovers that he’s under Minerva’s gown, not the other woman. Obviously Minerva & Blake have been found in a compromising position so they must marry. The problem? They really don’t like each other at all. Hate might actually be the appropriate word.
Minerva is resigned to the marriage even though she detests Blake and Blake is pissed that he has to do it and tries to thumb his nose at his father for forcing him into the union. Blake plans to avoid consummating the relationship and therefore stall any mini-Blake’s from appearing which will certainly tic his father right off as the Duke thinks of Minerva more of a brood mare.
The couple head to Paris for there wedding trip and there they come to verbal blows. Neither of them are afraid to tell it like it is and this causes more than a little strife in the marriage. But it also sheds some light on who they are. You see Blake has a secret that he tries to hide and has done so all of his life and as he gets to know Minerva he comes to admire her and eventually think that maybe he can trust her with his secret. When his father falls ill during their trip and they high it back to London the distance between them grows and they may never get to know each other fully.
This was definitely an interesting premise for a romance. The couple isn’t “acting” like they don’t like each other when they really are secretly attracted to each other. No, this couple truly detests each other. Minerva thinks that Blake is a lazy, good for nothing rake and Black thinks that Minerva is a bluestocking with too much ambition. Once they get to know each other a bit better they find that they were wrong about so many things – especially Minerva about Blake.
On one hand I really liked that they story took the route it did – with Blake and Minerva getting to know each other and not falling into bed immediately and thinking all is well. The slow build up of the romance was a definite plus for me. On the other hand I felt that the story lacked a certain punch that it needed to make me want to turn pages more. I think this might have been the characters. While I liked them and I liked seeing each of them grow I didn’t truly love them. Minerva was very one-track minded and was pretty disgusted with Blake for a lot of the book. She was kind of a snob and was looking down her nose at Blake constantly feeling that she knew best about most things. Blake was so concerned with people finding out his secret that he came across as uncaring and though we saw behind the scenes and I did feel for him I thought he could have handled things in a much better way. I did admire his decision to not cheat on Minerva once they were married and that gave him brownie points in my book.
Overall it was a good story that was enjoyable. I stayed up late reading it one night so it obviously had something that kept me interested. Anyone who loves a forced marriage to avoid scandal would definitely like this one.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 3, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

It’s April! Can you believe it? This year is going way too fast for my liking! lol
Thanks again for all the birthday wishes for my hubby. We had a couple of nice celebrations for him and rang in his new year rather well. 🙂
I won’t go in to the fridge and the water hook up because frankly it’s absolutely ridiculous. The end result – no…it’s not hooked up yet. They came but were unable to hook it up. Maybe by the time I’m 60 or so they’ll get it fixed. Of course by that time I’ll need a new fridge. lol
It was a good reading week…
I started off with All She Wrote by Josh Lanyon. The continuation of the Holmes and Moriarity series has Christopher heading off to Connecticut to help an old friend run a readers weekend at her house. The woman was once a mentor to Christopher so he’s happy to help. The woman actually thinks that there’s someone trying to kill her and wants Christopher to investigate. There’s much suspense and speculation about what’s really going on but it did drag a bit for my liking and I wanted to be on the edge of my seat. J.X. and Christopher also take their relationship to a new level and I’m curious to see what happens next to the couple as Christopher still seemed a bit ambivalent about the whole pairing. 4 out of 5
Next I read Just Down the Road by Jodi Thomas. This was a great installment in her Harmony Texas series. We got to meet new characters and see recurring ones and find out what’s happening there. You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5
Rules of the Game by Sandy James was my next read. This was the story of a woman who feels that she needs a certain type of man to be her companion when he hits her high school reunion. She heads to a bar to pick him up and so our love story begins. Maybe this one spoke to me because I picked my hubby up in a bar as well lo those many years ago. lol You can read my review here. 4 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Primal Bonds by Jennifer Ashley. I didn’t read the first book in this series but I liked what I read in this one. It had a wolf shifter heading to Texas to get away from a mate-claim that the son of her alpha was proposing. She then gets mate-claimed by a wildcat shifter and it’s all supposed to be on paper – not real. But the couple find their attraction is so much more. The story also revolves around a group of shifters that’s trying to take over the human part of the world but taking fellow shifters down at the same time. It was a good paranormal. 4 out of 5
Improper Relations by Juliana Ross is a novella that comes out later this month. It’s the story of a poor relation living with her deceased husband’s family and acting as companion. When she witnesses her cousin-by-marriage having sex with a maid she’s intrigued by the fact that the woman actually enjoyed it. Women enjoying sex? How odd! lol They start a sexual relationship that eventually turns into more. I’ll post my review later this month. 4 out of 5
Sleeping Angel by Greg Herren was the story of a youth who gets in a car accident and is in a coma for 2 weeks. When Eric wakes up he finds that he has amnesia and can’t remember a thing about who he is or who anyone is for that matter. He also has no idea why he had a guy in the back seat of his wrecked car that had been shot. Eric tries to put the pieces of his life back together little by little by asking questions. What he finds is that he really doesn’t care for the person that he’s hearing about, the things he did and said. He also starts making waves when he makes headway into finding out who shot his one time friend. I thought when I first started reading this that it was an m/m book. While the story does focus a bit on Eric’s one time friend who were gay and Eric’s bullying of said “friend” it’s more a book about a boy finding out who he really is. I didn’t care for Eric all that much when I found out about his gay bullying but he definitely grew on me. I also had some issues with his very good friend who was gay and wouldn’t stand up for his partner when Eric was verbally abusing him. In the end though I thought it was a really good book and I’m glad I read it. 4 out of 5
Next up was Confessions from an Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville. This was more of a “Holy shit I’ve been caught with my head up a ladies skirt and dammit it wasn’t the lady I thought it was – guess I shouldn’t have had so much to drink” kind of marriage. lol In order to avoid scandal a couple gets married. This is the story of them trying to deal with it all – especially since they don’t like each other at all. I’ll post my review of this one this week.
Last for the week was The Werewolf’s Wife by Michele Hauf. A werewolf saves a witch from burning at the stake (no, not a long time ago – in modern times) and they end up getting drunk and then married. They part ways and 13 years later he looks her up so that he can get a divorce. Interesting. She is in a panic when he comes to the door because she’s just found out that her 12 year old son has been kidnapped. She engages the werewolf to help her and he’s none too pleased when he finds out that the kid MAY be his. It was a good story but the characters just didn’t speak to me that much. I’ll post my review on The Book Binge next week. 3 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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