Light of the Spirit (Muse Chronicles #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Light of the SpiritLight of the Spirit (The Muse Chronicles #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Synopsis: The gods never sleep…

As the mortal vessel for the Muse of Comedy, Lia Youlos lights up every room with laughter and smiles. But there are darker forces at work, and they want to snuff out her light forever.

Cooper Hanover is a hardworking paramedic who healed Lia after a fire, but something happened that day, something medical science couldn’t explain. And if he doesn’t figure out how it works soon, the next healing could kill him.

Lia’s smile and sharp wit tempt him to love again, and he’s not going to let anyone, not even the gods, take her from him.

The Prophecy – “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.”

Review: Returning to the Muses was enjoyable; this one focused of Lia, the Muse of Comedy, and Cooper a paramedic and her guardian.  I enjoyed their adventure a lot and they were great characters with a story that kept me turning the pages.  I read it in two days it was so good. Lisa Kessler can write such an easy story to follow and fall into. Her characters are vibrant and entertaining and the story is definitely developing with the appearance of the Greek gods to aid the Muses and their Guardians.  I am looking forward to even more because I think Kronos has shown up!  So exciting.

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Pirate’s Persuasion (Sentinels of Savannah #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Pirate's PersuasionPirate’s Persuasion (Sentinels of Savannah #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Synopsis: Immortal pirate Drake Cole has a reputation in Savannah for his custom woodworking and historical restorations, but his work has grown into an obsession. He’s become a stranger to his crew since the Sea Dog sank in 1795. None of them know his painful secret. A young stowaway went down with the ship, one that Drake swore a blood oath to protect.

The ghost of a young boy, lost at sea over two hundred years ago, leads local medium, Heather Storrey right to Drake’s door. He saved her life before, and now she has a chance to return the favor, but how can she protect him from a curse that no one can see?

A dark coven possesses the figurehead from the Flying Dutchman, and if Heather and the immortal Sea Dog crew don’t locate the relic soon, Drake may be lost to them forever. Heather has seen the passionate man behind the veil of guilt, and she’s determined to free him from his self-imposed prison, and persuade this pirate to love again.

Each book in the Sentinels of Savannah series is STANDALONE:
* Magnolia Mystic
* Pirate’s Passion
* Pirate’s Pleasure
* Pirate’s Persuasion

Review: This one was so easy to read and so enjoyable. Once I started it I couldn’t stop. It was uncomplicated and entertaining, and it had passionate and enjoyable characters who carried the plot really well. I read it in two days; I couldn’t put it down. Drake and Heather were great together and there was a perfect blend of highs and lows in their relationship to pull the reader in and keep me turning the pages and engrossed in their story. Loved every second and want more of the Pirates of Savannah!

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Highland Sword (Royal Highlander #3) by May McGoldrick

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Highland SwordHighland Sword (Royal Highlander #3) by May McGoldrick

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Synopsis: Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best. From USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick comes Highland Sword, the third book in the Royal Highlander series.

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?

Review: An entertaining read about two people fighting for the rights of the Scottish people in their own ways that find love. She was a stubborn, strong willed, sword swinging damsel that didn’t need saving. He was a barrister, also strong willed, and determined to protect the people of Scotland. She gets in his way and after that moment in an alleyway, he has his eyes set on her no matter how much she tries to push him away. Their story was fun, entertaining, had a bit of adventure, a little bit of passion, not as much as I typically like in my romance novels, but it did have some, and overall was an enjoyable story. I liked it a lot and recommend it if you enjoy strong characters and an exciting plot.

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My One True Cowboy (River Ranch #4) by Soraya Lane

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My One True CowboyMy One True Cowboy (River Ranch #4) by Soraya Lane

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Synopsis: When Angelina Ford returns home to her family’s sprawling Texas ranch, she’s hiding a secret from her super successful siblings. With her business empire left in tatters back in Los Angeles, the former high-flying lawyer has nothing and she doesn’t want anyone back home to know.

But a chance encounter with her childhood best friend, Logan Brody, changes everything. The soldier turned rancher has been to hell and back himself, and he refuses to leave her to lick her wounds and be miserable.

Neither Angelina nor Logan wants to risk their friendship, but when sparks start to fly, everything changes. And Angelina is left wondering if her big city life is everything it’s cracked up to be, or if happiness has been waiting at home in Texas for her all along.

Review: This author really knows how to write a tear jerker scene, and this one had several that I just couldn’t stop crying for. The hero is so scarred and in need of healing and he lashes out at Angelina a few times, but she is so strong and they were so great together that they really carried the story well. It was real, passionate, beautiful, heartwarming, sad, and perfect. Such a beautiful story. Loved every second of it, even the parts that had me crying. The plot is strong, the conflict was real and handled well, and the characters were well-rounded and vibrant on the page. Every second of the story was great.

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Break the Day (Midnight Breed #16) by Lara Adrian

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Break the DayBreak the Day (Midnight Breed #16) by Lara Adrian

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Synopsis: After a shocking betrayal nearly killed him and the people he cares about the most, what Breed warrior Rafe wants more than anything is revenge against the insidious brotherhood called Opus Nostrum. But to achieve that goal, he must turn his back on the Order and infiltrate a dangerous gang with ties to Opus. Risking everything to redeem himself and carry out his deep-cover mission, Rafe will let nothing stand in his way–least of all his desire for one of the loyalists he should despise, a mysterious, dark-haired beauty named Devony Winters.

But Devony has secrets of her own to protect, as well as a personal duty she will do anything to fulfill. And as a daywalker passing herself off as human to the gang she’s been embedded with for months, the last thing she needs is a dangerous former member of the Order unraveling all her hard work. Her plans depend on keeping Rafe at arm’s length, but if she surrenders to the dark need he stirs within her, it will be her heart that pays the ultimate price.

Review: It was so good to get back to the Breed and to Rafe, who felt like he had a lot to make up for since the last time we saw him when he fell for the Opus operative. Devony also has an agenda and it doesn’t include this Breed male coming and interfering with her plans to get at Opus Nostrum for what they did to her family. The story was fast paced and passionate. The conflict was great and had several surprises that kept it interesting and not predictable. When she learns the truth, Rafe has a lot to make up for and that made for some really good reading. From start to finish it was an awesome read, I loved every second of it.

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Dark Craving (Dark Kings #0.1) by Donna Grant

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Dark CravingDark Craving (Dark Kings #0.1) by Donna Grant

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Synopsis: Fueled by ancient magic—and enflamed by human desire—the Dragon King known as Hal can transform himself at will into one of the legendary winged creatures he is sworn to protect. But one thing he can never do is fall in love…with a mortal woman.

Searching for her brother in Scotland—and succumbing to the freezing cold—Cassie Hunter awakens to find herself in the arms of a magnificent Highland warrior. Across his chest is the tattoo of a fiery dragon. And in his heart is a burning passion that, once unleashed, will consume them both…body and soul.

This is a story of destiny and desire, magic and mystery, warriors and lovers.

These are the forbidden cravings of the Dark Kings.

Review: With Con’s book coming out later this year, I had the desire to re-read the series and first up was Dark Craving, Hal and Cassie’s story. With having already read the series I did notice a few things about Ulrik’s story that changed, and Con seemed more accepting of Cassie than I remembered. I loved revisiting where it all started. Rhys was very much against the relationship, which I forgot about, and Hal and Cassie steamed up the page beautifully. Loved it and ready for more.

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The Bachelor (Duke Dynasty #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

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The BachelorThe Bachelor (Duke Dynasty #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

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Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries features an irresistible family in a series to savor, as the grown children of a thrice-married dowager duchess piece together the stories of their fathers–while pursuing passions of their own . . .

Lady Gwyn Drake has long protected her family’s reputation by hiding an imprudent affair from her youth. But when her former suitor appears at Armitage Hall, manhandling the heiress and threatening to go public with her secrets, it’s Gwyn who needs protecting. Her twin brother, Thorn, hires Joshua Wolfe, the estate’s gamekeeper, to keep her safe in London during her debut. As a war hero, Joshua feels obligated to fulfill the assignment he has accepted. But as a man, it’s torment to be so very close to the beauty he’s fought to ignore . . .

With handsome Joshua monitoring her every move, Gwyn would prefer to forget both the past and the parade of money-seeking bachelors at her coming out. But Joshua is unmoved by her attempts at flirtation, and the threat of blackmail still hangs over her. With danger closing in, Gwyn must decide which is the greater risk: deflecting a scoundrel’s attempts to sabotage her–or revealing her whole heart to the rugged bodyguard she can’t resist . . .

Review: This was a classic Sabrina Jeffries romance with two strong main characters, an interesting plot that kept the story steady without any dull points, and a conflict that was believable and entertaining. The passion was great and I loved the two main characters a lot. Joshua was an enigmatic and complex male lead that really carried the story well. Gwen started off coming across as a bit weak, but definitely improved and was the perfect match for Joshua. They worked well together and there isn’t anything I can say that I didn’t like about this story. Loved it.

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Just One Fake Date (Flatiron Five Fitness #1) by Deborah Cooke

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Just One Fake DateJust One Fake Date (Flatiron Five Fitness #1) by Deborah Cooke

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Synopsis: Straight out of college, five friends with a dream joined forces to build success. Ten years later, their exclusive fitness club, Flatiron Five Fitness, is the hottest destination in Manhattan. People flock to F5F to get fit, to get lucky, and even, to fall in love. The founding partners have been immune to F5F’s romantic spell—at least, so far…

Tyler McKay has a plan…
And it doesn’t include a serious relationship anytime soon. Between his day job and being a partner at Flatiron 5 Fitness, he’s busy investing in the future. But Ty knows that going stag to his sister’s wedding will encourage the family matchmakers: he needs a fake date, fast, in self-defense. When the one woman who hates him walks into F5F, Ty knows he’s found the perfect candidate—that Shannyn doesn’t play by anyone’s rules just leaves Ty wanting more…

Shannyn Hawke is done with plans and dreams…
She had her whole life mapped out, but it all went wrong. Now, she’s taking care of number one and living in the moment, with no concern for the future. If her college crush wants to trade a fake wedding date for physical satisfaction, Shannyn is in. But just one night proves that Tyler is everything she believes a guy should be, plus he takes it as a challenge to change her mind about him. Shannyn never wants to have her heart broken again, but she’s falling hard and fast. Can she remember that it’s just for show? Or will Tyler convince Shannyn to take a chance on forever again?

Review: Deborah Cooke decided to re-write the first book of the Flatiron Five Fitness with a new female lead for Tyler, Shannyn Hawke, with a whole new plot. Shannyn is a freelance photogapher who went to college with Tyler and she has a job to cover the alumni who own Flatiron Five Fitness. From the moment she walks into his office, sparks fly and the story vibe was a lot different from the original book.  I liked it a lot. I liked the chemistry between Shannyn and Tyler, I enjoyed watching Tyler fight for a real relationship with her, and the passion was great between the two.  The original book had Tyler playing two characters, him and a BDSM character with Amy and I just didn’t like how Amy had difficulty seeing how Tyler is the man for her.  In this one, Shannyn had commitment issues, and I liked that conflict better. Tyler had to fight to prove to her that a relationship could work and that he wasn’t going anywhere. There was no need for any subterfuge in this one and I loved how the story flowed and concluded. Overall, so much better start to a series that was awesome! I just want to know what his new buildboard looks like with Shannyn 🙂

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Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor

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Wild Wild RakeWild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Jenna MacGregor

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Synopsis: Her first marriage was an epic failure.

Lady Avalon Warwyck never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry―that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?

Devan Farris―charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian―is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with vicar with a wild reputation―even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside―a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?

Review: This was entertaining, fun, and passionate.  I liked the characters; especially the back story for Avalon, the flashback at the beginning created the emotional tether from her to the reader that carried for the whole story. I did like that Avalon and Mary became friends even with the difficult situation created by her husband. I would love to see Mary have a story, I wanted more with her and I don’t understand how she could stand Richard for treating Avalon the way he did.  Devin wasn’t as strong as a character, like Avalon, but I liked him with her; and I kind of wish he hadn’t been a vicar, I think that was what made him a bit standoffish for me. Their story was sweet and romantic and I enjoyed the whole thing. The conclusion added a bit of drama when they had to rescue her sister and friend. Otherthan his profession, I have no negative thoughts about the story.  I do like when the male lead is a rake in truth who learns the errors of their ways, rather than a rake in name only who finds the one woman he saught from the moment they met 10 years earlier. Overall, very enjoyable, passion was great, and the plot was entertaining and strong.

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Razr (Demonica #15) by Larissa Ione

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RazrRazr (Demonica #15) by Larissa Ione

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Synopsis: A fallen angel with a secret.

An otherworldly elf with an insatiable hunger she doesn’t understand.

A cursed gem.

Meet mortal enemies Razr and Jedda…and the priceless diamond that threatens to destroy them both even as it bonds them together with sizzling passion.

Welcome back to the Demonica Underworld, where enemies find love…if they’re strong enough to survive.

Review: I really liked Razr and Jedda. They were fun characters and their adventure was exciting, passionate, and fun. Razr need to find a special diamond that he lost, what he doesn’t realize is(no spoiler, promise) that Jedda has it and can’t give it up without dieing.  Jedda has been cursed by a Unfallen angel to find it and a crystal horn and Razr tags along.  She worries that once Razr knows that she already has the diamond that he will kill her to get it.  When the truth comes out, both Razr and Jedda join forces to stop the Unfallen.  The way the story ends was awesome and the passion in the story was great!  Ione knows how to write a passionate scene and has just enough to make the story steamy but doesn’t over do it.  Overall, great short story.

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Z (Demonica Underworld #3) by Larissa Ione

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ZZ (Demonica Underworld #3) by Larissa Ione

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Synopsis: Zhubaal, fallen angel assistant to the Grim Reaper, has spent decades searching for the angel he loved and lost nearly a century ago. Not even her death can keep him from trying to find her, not when he knows she’s been given a second chance at life in a new body. But as time passes, he’s losing hope, and he wonders how much longer he can hold to the oath he swore to her so long ago…

As an emim, the wingless offspring of two fallen angels, Vex has always felt like a second-class citizen. But if she manages to secure a deal with the Grim Reaper — by any means necessary — she will have earned her place in the world. The only obstacle in the way of her plan is a sexy hardass called Z, who seems determined to thwart her at every turn. Soon it becomes clear that they have a powerful connection rooted in the past…but can any vow stand the test of time?

Review: This novella is fast paced and a passionate read. The characters are strong and entertaining. I did find the ending a bit abrupt; I think she forgave him a bit too fast, I would have liked for her to make him earn her forgiveness for a bit longer than she did.  My only guess is that Ione needed to finish it within a certain number of words/pages.  Other than the fast ending, I enjoyed the story and returning to the Demonica universe, it has been too many years.

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Tucker (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

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TuckerTucker (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

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Synopsis: Hope springs eternal in this enchanting Texas town.

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue but when an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs…

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime. . .until death do they part.

Review: It was a cute story, a bit slow at times, but overall a cute romantic story.  I had a hard time sticking with it. There was some passion, the story line was alright- nothing over dramatic- Gillian was engaged to a guy that really didn’t respect her dreams and he breaks things off shortly before the wedding, and Tucker is a rough-around-the-edges guy that just retired from the military who sets his eyes on her as his forever and works towards that end.  It was sweet, just a bit slower than I like. I made it to chapter 12, which is 57%, before I had to start skimming through it to get it done, which I never do. If you like sweet home-town romances without a lot of drama or emotional turmoil to get through, this is a Romance for you! It is on the tamer side for those who don’t like too much sex scenes. If you prefer stories that have more steamy scenes from start-to-finish (not necessarily sex just chemistry) than you will find this more on the tame sweet side, nothing wrong with that, just go in expecting it. I did like Jackson more than I did Tucker.

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Flame (Dark Kings #17) by Donna Grant

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FlameFlame (Dark Kings #17) by Donna Grant

Release Date: June 30th

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Synopsis: Flame is the next Dark Kings book in New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant’s series.

If she believed in destiny, she would believe they were meant for each other.
But that fire was put out long ago. . .

Living among the Dragon Kings, Cain has spent lifetimes learning to distrust both mortals and Fae. He is a warrior born—and every instinct demands that he fight to keep his own kind safe. But when a fringe member of the Dark Fae contacts the Kings with an urgent warning, Cain is torn for the first time. How can he trust this beautiful creature when resisting his primal attraction to her is battle enough?

Noreen is horrified by what her kind and the malevolent Others are planning for the Dragon Kings. Dark Fae or not, there are lines she will not cross—even if it means risking her life. But she never imagined that she would risk her heart until she meets Cain. She wants him with a soul-deep desire that frightens her…and endangers them both. Is saying goodbye to everything Noreen has ever known worth a love that will span time and realms?

Review: (There is a small spoiler in this review about Balladyn)

It has been quite a while since I read anything, or wanted to.  I have books for NetGalley I need to read, but couldn’t bring myself to want to during these new times we have found ourselves in. Call it depression. Call it boredom. Call it a lack of motivation-Whatever it is, I found myself not wanting to read for the first time in years, even though I now find I have plenty of time to do it. So when I sat down to finally try, I knew I couldn’t go to the books that I had to read, because of their release dates or blog tours that I signed up for, I had to go to something that would remind me why I love to read, so I went to Donna Grant. Her stories and characters make it so easy to forget about reality. The emotional roller coaster her characters go on is a great distraction from the roller coaster that is real life stresses. The highs and lows between Cain and Noreen became an escape to peace and pleasure and freedom from the news reports constantly in our faces about Social Distancing, masks, and schools being closed.  Con is unraveling. The battle with the Others comes to one conclusion, but the final battle with Moreanne and Useail is still to come. Rhi is fighting with herself, Balladyn is back (no shock there and loved that scene between him and Rhi), the scope of Rhi’s power is almost goddess-like, the Reapers finally join in (about damn time) and well, all in all, this story was exactly what I needed to remind me why I LOVE to read!  Sometimes I get sucked into reading for the blog and forgot why I started the blog in the first place. To share the love of the books I want to read and the authors that I have come to follow because their worlds and characters and stories are just so life like and enjoyable that I want to share them with you. I think Con’s book is next and I can’t wait for it! This one was so good and the series is by far my favorite. It has everything you want in a romance series; action, suspense, passion, moments of emotional tension, humor, and characters that fly off the page!! I loved it. Now on to one of the books I signed up to read…

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Scott Under the Covers (Wild Wicked Highlanders #2) by Suzanne Enoch

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Scot Under the CoversScott Under the Covers (Wild Wicked Highlanders #2) by Suzanne Enoch

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Synopsis: When a resourceful English lady and a hot-blooded Highlander join forces to trick a scoundrel, every rule will be broken!

Miranda Harris is known for her charm, wit, and ability to solve any problem she encounters. But when her brother lands neck-deep in gambling debt to a crafty villain and Miranda is subsequently blackmailed into marrying him, she must enlist the help of the devil himself to save the family honor―and herself.

Devilishly handsome Highlander Aden MacTaggert knows next to nothing about the ways of the ton, but he most certainly knows his way around gaming halls and womens’ hearts. Still, Aden is not sure how he’ll manage to find a Sassenach bride in time to save his family’s inheritance. When his almost sister-in-law Miranda comes to him for assistance, he proposes a partnership: She will help him navigate London society and he’ll teach her everything about wagering…and winning back her freedom. The beautiful, clever lass intrigues Aden―but is she playing her own game, or are the sparks between them real? He is accustomed to risking his pocket. But betting on Miranda’s love is a game he can’t afford to lose. . .

Review:  This was a fun read, the passion was great, and the characters were strong and I enjoyed the plot a lot. I do wish Vale got more than he did in the end, punishment-wise. He seemed to give up too quickly at the end that it was almost anticlimactic. I loved the part where Aden had help getting into the bank. Overall, good story, and I loved how Miranda proposed to him instead of the classic guy doing the proposing. Too perfect.

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Blog Tour: Tucker (Eternity Springs: McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

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TuckerEternity Springs: Tucker (The McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

Book Review Here

Synopsis: From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emily March comes the second book in the Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas trilogy, TUCKER (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, February 25, 2020, $7.99). Two business owners come head-to-head in a feud with tulle and grit in this passionate story. This tale shows that even when life changes from the stress of a military career to working next to a wedding planner, love always finds a way to begin, even if it was never thought possible.

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue, but an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs…

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime . . . until death do them part.


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AUTHOR BIOEmily March Author Image

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.


Excerpt

Chapter Two

Tucker was a sixth-generation Texan, small-town born and bred. Certain behaviors were stamped into his DNA. A real man tipped his hat to the ladies, opened doors for females of any age, and never, ever failed to stop and assist a woman in distress.

So, of course, he had to turn around.

That this particular woman in distress was a total smoke show dressed in fire-engine red only made playing the role of Texas gentleman that much sweeter. He wondered how she’d managed to find herself out here in the middle of nowhere, no car in sight, not a house anywhere around, and the closest town a good ten miles away. Unfortunately, hot looks and a bright mind didn’t always go together.

He pulled to a stop beside her and flipped up the visor of his helmet. His assessing stare met a wary gaze shining from big, periwinkle-blue eyes that were swollen and red-rimmed with tears. She had an abrasion on her cheek just above her chin. Had someone hit her? When his quick visual sweep of her body revealed additional redness on both of her arms, he reconsidered. Airbag deployment, most likely. “Do you need some help, ma’am?”

  He watched her intently and saw her quietly repeat the word ma’am. After a moment’s hesitation, she licked her lips, swallowed hard, and said, “Well, um, I, um. May I borrow your phone?”

Her voice was smooth as Tennessee whiskey with just enough Texas in her drawl to sound like home to ears too far away for too long. “Yes, ma’am.”

She took a small step backward as he set his kick- stand and climbed off his bike. She’s scared of me.

It was a perfectly natural reaction and showed some sense, but Tucker didn’t like scaring women, so when he pulled off his helmet, he was scowling. Her eyes widened, she took another step back, and he realized he’d made the situation worse. Well, hell.

He reached deep inside him for the charm that had grown rusty with disuse, made a stab at a reassuring smile, and addressed the elephant in the cotton field. “Don’t be scared. I won’t hurt you. I came back to see if I could help. That’s all. I give you my word, and a McBride’s word is his bond.”

“That’s so old-fashioned,” she said.

“Yes, well, that’s how we roll. Now, I’m going to reach into my pocket and pull out my phone.”

Her gaze dropped to his hand, and she gave a nervous little laugh. “No gun?”

“No gun.” That was in a different pocket.

Tucker unzipped his jacket and reached into an inner pouch for his phone while trying his best to look unthreatening. Their fingers brushed as he handed it over. Her fingernail color matched her dress.

“Thank you,” she said.

“You’re welcome. My name is Tucker.”

“I’m Gillian.” Her teeth tugged on her bottom lip as she stared at the phone. “Do you have Google maps? I need to send a pin of my location to my—”

  She broke off abruptly, and her head came up. Those glittering blue eyes—puffy and swollen from tears and framed by long, thick lashes—went round and big. Distracted, he fell into them. “Tucker Mc- Bride? Your name is Tucker McBride?”

He blinked and pulled slightly away. Now it was his turn to be wary. “Yes.”

She gave him a once-over, and some of the stiff- ness melted from her spine. “I know Jackson. Boone too. You’re the third cousin, aren’t you?”

Well, this was unexpected. “Yes, Boone and Jack- son are cousins of mine. Have we met?” He didn’t think so. He’d damned sure remember her.

“No.”

“I’m surprised you’d connect me to them. We’re a long way from Redemption.”

“Are we?” She gave a short, strained laugh. “I wouldn’t know. I’m lost. But you look just like them, and Tucker McBride is an unusual name. Plus, I re- member when the three of you arrived in Redemption the first time. You all rode motorcycles. My friend Maisy laughed that you had your own little McBride gang, so you were perfect for Ruin.”

Tucker grinned. “If you only knew.” He extended his hand toward her for a handshake. “Nice to meet you, Gillian . . . ?”

“Thacker. Gillian Thacker.” Her grip was firm, her smile filled with relief. “I’m a friend of Caroline Carruthers. Are you on your way to visit Redemption?”

Caroline was the woman Jackson was seeing, Tucker knew. He nodded. “Yes, I am. So now that you know I’m not a serial killer, want to tell me what you’re doing standing in a cotton field in a sundress and stilettos? Not exactly apparel for farming.”

She glanced down at her feet. “Technically, I’m not in the field but on the shoulder of a road. A narrow, two-lane, never-ending road. And no, cotton is not my thing. I’m all about satin and lace.”

Satin and lace? A vision of Gillian in lingerie the same shade of red as her dress flashed in Tucker’s mind as she continued, “I sell wedding gowns at a bridal shop in Redemption. Bliss Bridal Salon on Main Street.”

He tore his thoughts from the fantasy and listened when she began babbling about a pig and a pecan and a purse without a phone charger. When she finally wound down, she left Tucker shaking his head at her foolishness. He held up his hand. “Let me get this straight. You weren’t joking about being lost? You literally don’t know where you are?”

“No. Not exactly.” She lifted her chin, and her voice sharpened defensively. “I know I’m still in Central Texas. I’m somewhere between I-35 and I-45. I’m north of Austin. I think.”

He slowly shook his head. “Where is your car?

How far have you walked?”

“That way.” She hooked her thumb over her shoul- der. “Maybe two or three miles. I’ve been walking a while.”

“In those shoes?”

She gave a rueful smile.

Copyright © 2020 by Geralyn Dawson Williams.


BUY LINKS

Macmillan: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250314932

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Blog Tour: Wild Wild Rake (Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor

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Wild Wild RakeWild, Wild Rake (Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor

Synopsis: Wild, Wild Rake, the next sweeping, emotional, witty, and sharp romance in the Cavensham Heiresses series from beloved author Janna MacGregor.

Her first marriage was an epic fail.

Lady Avalon Warwyk never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry—that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?

Devan Farris—charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian—is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with a vicar with a wild reputation—even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside—a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?


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Excerpt from Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

Avalon read the first line in the letter from her son’s guardian, Gavin Farris, the Earl of Larkton. By all appearances the words resembled something innocuous, purely designed to lull a person into thinking it contained real concern with a touch of whimsical affection.

My dearest lady, I do hope this finds you and your intrepid son well.

“Avalon, did you hear the news?” Seventeen, on the cusp of eighteen years of age, Avalon’s sister, Lady Sophia Cavensham, looked up from her embroidery and smiled. Her gaze darted to her friend Miss Penelope Rowley, the one and only niece of the wealthiest gentry landowner in the shire. Though she was two years older than Sophia, Penelope had become somewhat of a fixture at Warwyk Hall over the last six months since she’d moved to her aunt and uncle’s home. The two women were inseparable.

Penelope let out a dramatic sigh then collapsed in a swoon across the pink-and-gold brocade sofa. In the process, she kneed the table, upsetting the delicate pink china cup and saucer. “Oww.”

Avalon tried to ignore their chatter. The Earl of Larkton’s correspondence had increased in frequency over the last several months. The weekly letters were turning into biweekly posts. Each one wanted more and more control over the Warwyk estate and more decision-making control over her ten-year-old son, Thane Pearce, the Marquess of Warwyk. She doubled her concentration on the letter as she read the entire first paragraph.

The purpose of my correspondence is to inform you that I’ve appointed a new vicar for the village of Thistledown. The man comes with impeccable standing and experience. In addition, his educational training is second to none. He’s a protégé of Lord Bishop Marlowe.

“He’s extraordinary.” Sophia’s dreamlike whisper floated through the air like a dandelion seed.

“He’s . . . simply exquisite.” Penelope’s voice joined Sophia’s in a chorus of dazzled fascination.

My dear Marchioness, it’s my pleasure to announce that my brother—

Avalon swallowed the sudden onrush of bile that marched up her throat. It couldn’t be. Fate was not that hateful.

“Mr. Devan—” Sophia sighed.

“Farris.” Penelope finished the sentence and slowly drew her hand against her forehead as if saying his name caused her to faint.

“No. Not him.” Avalon murmured the words aloud. The sanctimonious prig had arrived to make her life a living hell. Avalon grimaced to keep from casting her accounts. Now she was just exaggerating like the girls. She wasn’t really physically sick, but the news could make a person ill. “When did he arrive in the village?”

Clueless as to how the news affected her older sister, Sophia scooted to the edge of the crimson-and-white striped club chair that sat adjacent to Avalon’s matching one. “Two days ago. Penelope and I just happened to be walking in front of the vicarage when we saw the Earl of Larkton’s coach arrive. The new vicar followed behind on horseback.”

Penelope nodded vigorously as if Sophia’s story needed affirmation.

Avalon wanted to roll her eyes. The two women “never just happen” to do anything. They orchestrated and connived everything from shopping to men. God save anyone who crossed their paths. If one of the girls took a shine to any of the ton’s marriageable men, then London’s finest would soon understand what it meant to be hunted. 

As the girls continued their chatter, Avalon devoted her full attention to the rest of the letter. Better to finish the horrid task, then take a long walk through her gardens. Though it was January and bitterly cold outside, a brisk hour of exercise would help Avalon clear some of her unease at the news that Mr. Devan Farris had invaded her village.

I’ve considered your request that the young marquess continue his studies at home, but at the age of ten, his interests would best be served by attending Eton sooner rather than later. That’s where boys turn into men. Your suggestion that he attend Harrow won’t do. His father had insisted that I promise he attend Eton. However, since his Latin skills are somewhat lacking, I’ve decided to hire my brother, Mr. Farris, to tutor him in the subject.

Her blood simmered at the words. The earl’s declaration was nothing more than gilding the lily. Everyone within fifty miles of London knew that Devan Farris sought to marry an heiress. Until he found one, the fortune-hunting vicar thought to use her son’s marquisate to pay double for his services. Since her son’s estate paid for the vicar’s wages, Mr. Farris would receive another wage from the coffers for tutoring lessons.

But what really brought her blood to boil was that the smug vicar would be nosing into her business, and that wouldn’t do at all. She and only she ruled the parish with a fair and impartial hand. No one, including Devan Farris, would upset her world.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of the Cavensham Heiresses series, which begins with The Bad Luck Bride. Janna credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs.


Buy this book:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250296016 

Author website:

https://www.jannamacgregor.com/ 

Author Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JannaMacGregor 

Author Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/JannaMacGregor/ 

Author Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/jannamacgregor/ 

SMP Romance Twitter:

@SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts

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The Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch #3) by Caitlin Crews

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The Last Real CowboyThe Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch #3) by Caitlin Crews

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Synopsis: In Cold River, sometimes forbidden love is the sweetest of them all…

Perennial good girl Amanda Kittredge knows that her longtime crush on Brady Everett was never really supposed to go anywhere. But when Brady comes home to Cold River during Amanda’s first attempt at independence, well, who better to teach her about rebellion than her older brother’s bad-boy best friend?

Brady’s plans did not include being forced to work the family homestead for a year–and yet, here he is. And, to make matters worse, his best friend’s innocent little sister is making a menace of herself in the most grown-up, tempting ways. When Amanda begs Brady to teach her about men, he knows he should refuse. But could Brady’s greatest temptation be his salvation?

Review: It starts out a bit frustrating with how blind all the men around Amanda seem to be when it comes to her, and her wants and needs. I got quite annoyed at Brady when he kept treating her like a child who didn’t know any better or her own mind, but from the point at the barn that he tries to use as a goodbye gift to the end of the story, it becomes a sweet country, small-town romance that was enjoyable and sweet. The passion was good, not overly descriptive, but still enough to keep the pages steamy. Amanda was the best fit for Brady and when she stood up to his brothers for him, that was the best scene in the whole series, I think. Both of his brothers needed to be dressed down for how they treated him. I liked it. I think Hannah and Ty’s story might be my favorite out of all of them, but this one was enjoyable and entertaining.

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Dark Alpha’s Temptation (Reapers #9) by Donna Grant

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Dark Alpha's TemptationDark Alpha’s Temptation (Reapers #9) by Donna Grant

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Synopsis: There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

Carrying Death’s orders is my sole duty. I’ve never had reason to question her, even if I disagreed. But Kyra’s fierceness and willpower sheds light on my mission. She drives the darkness of my world away. The answers to the Others’ goals lie in her past. For Kyra, I will risk going against Death’s wishes. For her…I will battle the past and the future itself.

Review: I love a good DG book and how her series always merge and flow together is awesome. The Others have set their sights on The Reapers and I don’t think they truly understand the power they are up against. The battles to come are going to be epic. Dubham and Kyra worked so well together that I didn’t even realize I was half way through the book. Their story was passionate, entertaining, and the conflict between her and her mother added to the bigger conflict of the Others that keeps building. Such an easy and enjoyable read. I want more!!

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June Releases Updated

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Hi Everyone

June Releases page is updated. There are several coming out in June, so excited about those books. Head over to that page to see what I am looking forward to, and let me know if you are looking forward to any of them too, or if there are others I should also check out. Thanks for following my blog, ya’ll, I love sharing my love for reading romance with fellow like-minded people.

Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchess #2) by Olivia Drake

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Forever and a DukeForever and a Duke (Unlikely Duchess #2) by Olivia Drake

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Synopsis: “I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent

Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.

But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?

Review: This one took me a while to get through, because life this school year has just been crazy, but in the end it turned out to be a really enjoyable story with strong characters, a captivating plot, and a multifaceted conflict that kept the story moving well. I really liked it. A stuffy English duke gets his life turned upside down by an outspoken American woman who refuses to curtsy and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Their love story built slowly and felt real, not rushed, which was really nice. There isn’t anything I didn’t like about this story. Hadrian and Natalie are great together and Leo is just adorable. I definitely recommend this story, whether you have read book one or not, this one does stand on its own really well.

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January 2020 New Releases UPDATED

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Hi everyone

I am in the process of updating the New Releases pages to reflect the first half of 2020 with the books I am looking forward to releasing.  January only sees two books coming out that I am looking forward to, so far, so that page was easy.  I will post as the pages are updated so you can go on over and take a look. Please feel free to let me know what you are looking forward to and if there are any that I need to add to my TBR radar for 2020. 🙂

One Hot Holiday (Wilde Ways #6) by Cynthia Eden

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One Hot HolidayOne Hot Holiday (Wilde Ways #6) by Cynthia Eden

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Synopsis: She’s running for her life. He’s the safe haven she never expected to find. The holiday season is about to get HOT.

Hiding out for the holiday season in the heart of the South? Not something that Haley Quick ever expected to have on her to-do list but then…she never expected her ex to want her dead, either. Turns out, life is full of surprises. Time to deal. Haley has ditched New York for a crazy little dot on the map known as Point Hope, Alabama. It’s a town gone extra crazy for the holidays, and Haley is sticking out like a sore thumb with her very much Grinch-self.

But enter sexy sheriff Spencer Lane…Tall, muscled, and made with an extra dose of sex appeal, he is exactly the kind of man that Haley should be avoiding. He’s charming, he looks way too good in a Santa hat, and, oh, yes, he’s her new landlord. The hits just keep coming. She can’t afford to let Spencer learn all of her secrets, a tough job since she is living with the man. No sex, though. It’s purely a business relationship. Except…the holidays in the South sure do get HOT. Or maybe that’s just sexy Spencer. Usually, Haley falls for the bad guy. It’s the whole reason she’s running for her life. She can’t help but wonder…What would it be like to fall for a man like Spencer?

He just got his Christmas wish.

Sheriff Spencer Lane can’t believe his luck. The most beautiful, fascinating woman he’s ever seen has just dropped into his life like a gift from, well, the big guy in red. Only the problem is that Haley seems to think Spencer is some by-the-book, nice guy. Probably because of the badge. And if she wants him to be the hero, that’s a role that he’s happy to play for her. But the truth is, Spencer has plenty of darkness inside, too. An ex Navy SEAL, he knows how to get sh—um, stuff done. He also knows how to be very, very naughty.

When danger threatens his Haley, all bets are off. No one is going to hurt her. No one is going to threaten her. Not in his town. Not on his watch. The nice guy will show Haley just how bad he can be.

Fake snow, a parade of wild elves, and a stalker ex don’t make for the merriest of times, but in Point Hope, anything can happen—and it usually does. Ready for a steamy story that will get you in the ho-ho-ho spirit? Settle back, curl up with Spencer, and have yourself a jolly old time.

Review: Very cool Christmas story full of action, passion, good characters and an interesting plot. I liked it, not my favorite in the Wilde series, but definitely not dull or boring. This one focuses on Spencer, who we met in other books. This time the setting is his small town where he is the sheriff. Haley is running from a very bad guy and Spencer has an interest in being her hero. We have twisted FBI agents, hired thugs, Wilde agents to assist in the capture of a crime lord from NYC, and a sweet and romantic holiday tale all rolled up into a good story. Definitely a good story to read during the Holidays.

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Forever and a Duke (Rogues to Riches #3) by Grace Burrowes

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Forever and a DukeForever and a Duke (From Rogues to Riches #3) by Grace Burrowes

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Synopsis: A duke meets his match in the last place he’d ever expect in this charming Regency romance by the New York Times bestselling author of My One and Only Duke.

Wrexham, Duke of Elsmore, is overrun by family obligations. With three sisters to escort about Town, a legion of cousins to look after, and aunties who insist he dance with every eligible young woman, he barely has time to manage his dukedom. When he finally carves out a moment to evaluate his family’s finances, he learns that he―and his sisters―are on the verge of social catastrophe.

Eleanora Hatfield has an uncanny knack for numbers, but she knows from experience that dealing with the peerage can only lead to problems. Though she wants nothing to do with any titled gentleman, she reluctantly agrees to help when Rex seeks aid from her employer. What starts out as an unwanted assignment soon leads to forbidden kisses and impossible longings. But with scandal haunting Ellie’s past and looming in Rex’s future, how can true love lead to anything but heartbreak?

Review: I almost didn’t want to finish this one. Half way through, I started skimming through sections. I was bored. The characters did not keep me interested, and I am not sure why. The conflict was tame (family betrayals and not believing she was worthy of him) and the passion was also very tame. I like Grace Burrowes, but this one just didn’t do anything for me. The first two in the series were better than this one, and I am sad to say this one was definitely forgettable.

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Note to my blog readers:

I am sorry for my absence the past several weeks.  My grandmother went into the hospital Thanksgiving night and passed away on December 14th.  It has been a very rough few weeks and so, even though I have read some, I haven’t posted anything in about a month.  I plan on getting back to posting weekly in the new year.  I hope everyone’s holidays’ were blessed and restful.

 

A Kiss in Lavender (La Vie en Roses #4) by Laura Florand

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A Kiss of LavenderA Kiss in Lavender (La Vie en Roses #4) by Laura Florand

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Synopsis: A hardened exile

It had taken Lucien Rosier fifteen years at war to rebuild himself after he lost his family. To remake himself, he had left behind even his name. Now a captain in the Foreign Legion, the last thing he wanted was to face his past. Even for her…

A woman longing for a home

Lucien Rosier had been her hero once, when everyone else had turned away. Now it was Elena Lyon’s turn to rescue him. If she could teach him to believe in love and family again, she would pay back her debts. But after a lifetime of abandonment, she wasn’t about to make the mistake of believing in love herself. Not even for him…

Could two broken hearts find in each other exactly what they needed to heal?

From international bestselling author Laura Florand, a sensual and heart-warming tale of love, family, and redemption. Explore the south of France, a world of heat and fragrance and tales as old as time, through the stories of the five Rosier cousins, and the women who win their hearts.

Review: I loved this series, it is warm, sweet, romantic, and this one was all of those things.  Elena was a beautiful character with scares and Laura didn’t lose site of even the smallest details with this character from start to finish.  Elena truly couldn’t understand the concept of someone choosing her, based on her history of always being left behind or discarded.  Lucien had his own scars and I loved watching him reunite with his cousins, come to accept that he is still part of the family regardless of blood, and his reunion with his father was poignant. How he ended up choosing Elena up in the lavender fields was the perfect touch at the end of the story.  The only thing I wanted to see happen was to find out how Antoine was connected to the family, and that wasn’t revealed. I don’t know if there is going to be another book or not, I hope Antoine gets his own story, but other than that detail I enjoyed this story and the whole series.  It was refreshing and sweet and still had passion (which is a must) :-).  If you are looking for a classic romantic story with passion and just enough drama to keep you turning the pages, plus characters that jump off the page (love Tonte Collette and the grandfather SO much), I highly recommend this series.

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Breath of Passion(Muse Chronicles #3) by Lisa Kessler

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A Breath of PassionBreath of Passion (Muse Chronicles #3) by Lisa Kessler

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Synopsis: Erica Sterling owns her curves, and inspires passion in every person she meets. It’s the curse of having the Greek muse, Erato, lurking in her soul. After a hot night with a firefighter, she struggles to keep her distance from him. The gods have other plans, but Erica has crossed the line between passion and obsession once before, and she’s never going back. Not even for her Guardian.

No one understands fire and heat like firefighter, Reed McIntosh. After being burned by a bad marriage, he’s sworn off love. But he’s never been with anyone like Erica, and after meeting her, a dormant ability is awakened inside of him, along with the desire to keep her safe.

When a stalker’s threats turn up the heat, Reed will put his life – and his heart – on the line. But when the ashes settle, will love be too late?

The Prophecy – “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.”

Review: This one was very enjoyable. The plot is continuing to develop in the series, this one has two surprises in it that I wasn’t expecting, one of which had me tearing up at the end. The characters were interesting and well developed and I liked their story while we continued to deal with the followers of Kronos and then her ex-boyfriend, which added more depth to the conflict. I liked it. The passion was a bit more tamely described than I like, but it was there and good. I look forward to more in the series, especially Mikolas’ story. Can’t wait for that one!

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Shadow and Ice (Gods of War #1) by Gena Showalter

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Shadows and IceShadow and Ice (Gods of War #1) by Gena Showalter

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Synopsis: Gena Showalter, the New York Times bestselling author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld, introduces a brand-new scorching new paranormal romance series…GODS OF WAR.

Knox of Iviland, the most ruthless warrior in All War history, has spent his life fighting others to the death, winning new realms for his king. Now the stakes are higher than ever. If he prevails in the battle for Earth, his slave bands will be removed. Victory is his sole focus…until he meets her.

On an arctic getaway with her foster sister, street tough but vulnerable Vale London is shocked to stumble upon a cave filled with ancient gods waging epic combat. When she is inadvertently drawn into their war, she is forced to team up with an unlikely ally—the sexy god who makes her burn with desire.

Though Vale is his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can triumph, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.

Review: This one was hard to get into. It is the first in a new series for Showalter, so I am hoping as the series progresses it gets better.  The characters are good and the plot concept interesting, so I’m not sure why I had a difficult time wanting to pick it up and read. I will read more to see how this new series unfolds. I enjoy Gena Showalter’s way of telling stories so I am hopeful I will grow to like the series more.  Knox and Vale are good together and I enjoyed watching the hardened and cold Knox fall for the human turned combatant, Vale. Vale’s personality was strong and she had spunk, I enjoyed watching her win Knox and come to terms with her new normal. I am hopeful the series gets better and I will definitely pick up book 2 to read, but thus far, not as good as her Lords of the Underworld or the Original Heartbreakers series.

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Out of Time (Lost Platoon #3) by Monica McCarty

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Out of TimeOut of Time (Lost Platoon #3) by Monica McCarty

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Synopsis: A hunt for dangerous secrets leads to explosive chemistry in this exhilarating romantic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Off the Grid.

A team of Navy SEALs goes on a mission and disappears without a trace–they are the Lost Platoon.

With his men scattered to all corners of the globe after a disastrous secret op in Russia, Lieutenant Commander Scott Taylor is trying to find out who was responsible for leaking the information that killed half his platoon. Were it not for Natalie Andersson, the woman he had been secretly dating in the Pentagon who had warned him of the danger, he knows they would all be dead. Scott is devastated when he hears that the woman he loved and hoped to marry has been killed for helping him–until he learns that Natalie was the spy who betrayed them. But when his search to clear his name brings him face-to-face with a very-much-alive Natalie, Scott realizes that justice and vengeance might not be as clear-cut as he thought.

Natalie Andersson, or, as she was born, Natalya Petrova, has put the memories of her early childhood in Russia behind her. She never dreamed that she would be at the center of an elaborate “sleeper” espionage program. Even when she learns the truth, she refuses to spy for the country of her birth, until the Russians threaten the lives of the only family she has ever known. But Natalie is the worst spy in the history of spying, falling for her target. When her attempt at misdirection leads to irreversible consequences, she is forced to run for her life, with her lover hot on her tail.

Review: The third book in the Lost Platoon series was full of so much action, an intense plot with several plot twists, a conclusion to the main conflict in the series and an opening for a new spin on the series. It was great. Loved every second of Natalie and Scott’s story. I really don’t want to say much because there is so much that goes on that I don’t want to spoil it. Natalie and Scott had a hard road ahead of them to deal with her betrayal, her role in what happened in Russia, and his ability to bend the rules from time to time. Colt and Kate’s story was also so good and I liked that they got back together and had their own happily ever after, but that is all I’m going to say on the subject. You definitely should read this series. It is filled with intrigue, suspense, great and well developed conflicts and plot and great characters. I’ll hope there will be more in the series.

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Blog Tour! This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman

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The Earl of Mine

This Earl of Mine (Bow Street Bachelors #1) by Kate Bateman

Book Review Here

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Synopsis: Introducing the Bow Street Bachelors—men who work undercover for London’s first official police force—and the women they serve to protect. . .and wed? Shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed is done with men who covet her purse more than her person. Even worse than the ton’s lecherous fortune hunters, however, is the cruel cousin determined to force Georgie into marriage. If only she could find a way to be…widowed? Georgie hatches a madcap scheme to wed a condemned criminal before he’s set to be executed. All she has to do is find an eligible bachelor in prison to marry her, and she’ll be free. What could possibly go wrong?
Benedict William Henry Wylde, scapegrace second son of the late Earl of Morcott and well-known rake, is in Newgate prison undercover, working for Bow Street. Georgie doesn’t realize who he is when she marries him—and she most certainly never expects to bump into her very-much-alive, and very handsome, husband of convenience at a society gathering weeks later. Soon Wylde finds himself courting his own wife, hoping to win her heart since he already has her hand. But how can this seductive rogue convince brazen, beautiful Georgie that he wants to be together…until actual death do they part?

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Author Bio:

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Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of historical romances, including her RITA® nominated Renaissance romp, The Devil To Pay, and the novels in the Secrets & Spies series To Steal a Heart, A Raven’s Heart, and A Counterfeit Heart. When not writing novels that feature feisty, intelligent heroines and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss, Kate works as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several popular TV shows in the UK. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England. Follow her on Twitter to learn more.


Excerpt:

Chapter 1.

 London, March 1816.

 There were worse places to find a husband than Newgate Prison. Of course there were. It was just that, at present, Georgie couldn’t think of any.

“Georgiana Caversteed, this is a terrible idea.” Georgie frowned at her burly companion, Pieter Smit, as the nondescript carriage he’d summoned to convey them to London’s most notorious jail rocked to a halt on the cobbled street. The salt-weathered Dutchman always used her full name whenever he disapproved of some- thing she was doing. Which was often.

“Your father would turn in his watery grave if he knew what you were about.”

That was undoubtedly true. Until three days ago, en- listing a husband from amongst the ranks of London’s most dangerous criminals had not featured prominently on her list of life goals. But desperate times called for des- perate measures. Or, in this case, for a desperate felon about to be hanged. A felon she would marry before the night was through.

Georgie peered out into the rain-drizzled street, then up, up the near-windowless walls. They rose into the mist, five stories high, a vast expanse of brickwork, bleak and unpromising. A church bell tolled somewhere in the darkness, a forlorn clang like a death knell. Her stomach knotted with a grim sense of foreboding.

Was she really going to go through with this? It had seemed a good plan, in the safety of Grosvenor Square. The perfect way to thwart Cousin Josiah once and for all. She stepped from the carriage, ducked her head against the rain, and followed Pieter under a vast arched gate. Her heart hammered at the audacity of what she planned. They’d taken the same route as condemned prisoners  on the way to Tyburn tree, only in reverse. West to east, from the rarefied social strata of Mayfair through gradually rougher and bleaker neighborhoods, Holborn and St. Giles, to this miserable place where the dregs of humanity had been incarcerated. Georgie felt as if she were nearing her own execution.

She shook off the pervasive aura of doom and straightened her spine. This was her choice. However unpalatable the next few minutes might be, the alternative was far worse. Better a temporary marriage to a murderous, unwashed criminal than a lifetime of misery with Josiah. They crossed the deserted outer courtyard, and Georgie cleared her throat, trying not to inhale the foul-smelling air that seeped from the very pores of the building. “You have it all arranged? They are expecting us?”

Pieter nodded. “Aye. I’ve greased the wheels with yer blunt, my girl. The proctor and the ordinary are both bent as copper shillings. Used to having their palms greased, those two, the greedy bastards.”

Her father’s right-hand man had never minced words in front of her, and Georgie appreciated his bluntness. So few people in the ton ever said what they really meant. Pieter’s honesty was refreshing. He’d been her father’s man for twenty years before she’d even been born. A case of mumps had prevented him from accompanying William Caversteed on his last, fateful voyage, and Georgie had often thought that if Pieter had been with her father, maybe he’d still be alive. Little things like squalls, ship- wrecks, and attacks from Barbary pirates would be mere inconveniences to a man like Pieter Smit.

In the five years since Papa’s death, Pieter’s steadfast loyalty had been dedicated to William’s daughters, and Georgie loved the gruff, hulking manservant like a second father. He would see her through this madcap scheme— even if he disapproved.

She tugged the hood of her cloak down to stave off the drizzle. This place was filled with murderers, highway- men, forgers, and thieves. Poor wretches slated to die, or those “lucky” few whose sentences had been commuted to transportation. Yet in her own way, she was equally desperate.

“You are sure that this man is to be hanged tomorrow?” Pieter nodded grimly as he rapped on a wooden door.

“I am. A low sort he is, by all accounts.”

She shouldn’t ask, didn’t want to know too much about the man whose name she was purchasing. A man whose death would spell her own freedom. She would be wed and widowed within twenty-four hours.

From This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman. Copyright © 2019 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Publishing Group.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leopard’s Run (Leopard People #10) by Christine Feehan

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Leopard's RunLeopard’s Run (Leopard People #10) by Christine Feehan

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Synopsis: He keeps his emotions on a tight leash, but she can see the desire burning in his eyes…

Timur Amurov has one purpose in life: protect his family at all costs. With lethal skills honed from a violent upbringing, Timur is a leopard shifter who sees any newcomers as possible threats–and the petite blond barista who his sister-in-law, Evangeline, has hired to work in her bakery is definitely hiding something. While Timur still needs to determine if Ashe is an enemy, he does know that she is the only woman whose presence has ever truly calmed the beast roaring inside of him.

Ashe Bronte is well aware she has a type: sexy, gorgeous and dangerous as hell. Despite the fact that Timur is all those things and more, Ashe is in San Antonio for reasons that do not involve getting wild with a ruthless leopard–and she cannot afford to make any mistakes. But Timur has ignited something deep within her, and even though she knows she should keep her distance, every move he makes has her craving a taste…

Review: This one started out really good, but about a quarter of the way to the end I got bored with it. There is so much sex in it that there wasn’t enough story to get me to the end of it. I like books with a lot of passion in them, but this takes it to the level where it kind of ruins the story. Now this isn’t my first Leopard People’s book by CF so I know this series takes having passionate scenes steaming up the pages to the next level and beyond but there needs to be more story there too. I didn’t hate it like I have a few others in the series, I do like the Amurov Leopard’s, they are very interesting men raised in a very dark world trying to make it better the only way they know how. Timur is the brother of Alonzo from Leopard’s Fury. He is head of security and the Enforcer. He has accepted his fate even when he hates every second of it. When Ashe is found working at the bakery, first he is pissed that Evangeline didn’t tell him before hiring  her, and second, he knows he can’t let her get away. She calms his Leopard and that is a peace he has never known. She, of course, has brought trouble to his families’ door and he doesn’t like it, but it doesn’t stop him from going after her and discovering she is his mate. The action was intense, the bad guys are ones we have had to deal with on more than one occasion and the Amurov’s clean house in this one. I liked the characters I just needed more plot and less passion (never thought I’d say that, lol). I need to take a break from CF for awhile, her books are just too intense.

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Covert Game (Ghost Walker #14) by Christine Feehan

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Covert GameCovert Game (Ghost Walker #14) by Christine Feehan

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Synopsis: Rescuing an industrial spy from the hands of a criminal mastermind is a suicide mission for the GhostWalkers. And there’s no one more up to the task than Gino Mazza. He’s the perfect killing machine–a man driven by demons so dark and destructive that his blighted soul has given up trying to find solace. But his laser-sharp focus on his target has transformed into something nearing desire.

A treasonous senator dangled top secret GhostWalker data in front of a Chinese crime lord, and he bit. Zara Hightower, one of the world’s leading experts on artificial intelligence, was sent in to psychically wipe the crime lord’s computer network. She succeeded, but at a huge cost. Now she’s the captive of a man who has descended into paranoid madness. Torture and death await her…

But GhostWalkers never leave one of their own in enemy territory. And it’s up to Gino to save Zara, or kill her if it turns out she’s led them into a trap. Either way, heaven or hell won’t stop him…

Review: This one was intense. The couple reminded me a lot of Vittorio and Grace from Shadow Warrior. He was very dominant and she was submissive, but unlike Vittorio, Geno seemed more open to learn to compromise for Zara, and Zara definitely stood up for what she truly believed in. I enjoyed their story, hate what she went through, totally understood why Geno had to seek vengeance the way he did, but I did like that he felt remorse after that. She softened him up a lot, which I found so romantic. The action was intense, as always, the conflict great, and the plot premise good. There is a lot of sex in this one, but it wasn’t as off-putting like some other CF Ghost Walker books or even Leopard books can be. Not my favorite in the serious, but definitely not the worst, I think my least favorite is still Spyder Game and my favorite is blank Game. Overall enjoyable and entertaining installment in this series.

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Blog Tour! Fever (Dark Kings #16) by Donna Grant

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Fever-DGFever (Dark Kings #16) by Donna Grant

Book Review Here

Synopsis: For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bare his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?


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Excerpt:

She had to calm down or else she was going to get sick. And Bernadette really didn’t want to ruin the rug she now paced on.

Her blood felt like ice in her veins. Her hands were sweating. Her stomach roiled violently, alternating between pain and nausea. And her mind was jumbled so tightly that she wasn’t sure she would ever sort anything out again.

Her life had been sedate and boring – and she’d liked it. She liked waking up at the same time every day, having a cup of tea and toast as she read the news on her mobile before getting ready for the day. She’d enjoyed going into work and being good at her job, of having friends, and even eating at the same places for lunch every week. She liked stable and constant. There hadn’t been any surprises.

But all that changed one fateful rainy night. With one image, she’d kissed her peaceful life good-bye without a second’s hesitation. She gave up her home, belongings, friends, and even her career for what? To chase something she knew to be real but the rest of the world didn’t?

She stopped and leaned her hands on the back of the sofa. The leather was cool to the touch. She drew in a breath and slowly released it in an effort to calm herself, but it didn’t work. Finally, she lifted her gaze to Keltan who watched her patiently.

The recent fad with men sporting beards hadn’t been her favorite. In fact, she’d always preferred men to be clean shaven, but she quite liked the beard on Keltan. It accentuated his strong jaw and his wide lips.

Bernadette hastily looked away. She didn’t know why she kept looking at his mouth. It wasn’t as if he was attracted to her or anything.

She cleared her throat and dropped her chin to her chest. “I was once a respected anthropologist. I had a great career.”

“I know. I looked into you.”

Her head snapped up. His gaze caught and held hers. “I gave it all up that night I saw one of you.”

“In Glasgow?”

“Yes,” she said with a nod.

Keltan swallowed, regret tightening his face. “You didna see one of us.”

“I know what I saw. It was a dragon.”


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Author Bio: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s the author of more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories. The acclaimed series features a thrilling combination of dragons, the Fae, and Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.


 

Shadow Warrior (Shadow Riders #4) by Christine Feehan

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Shadow WarriorShadow Warrior (Shadow Riders #4) by Christine Feehan

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Synopsis: Danger inspires fierce passion when a serial killer threatens Chicago’s Ferraro crime family in this novel in Christine Feehan’s New York Times bestselling series.

Vittorio Ferraro is a man whose family loyalty knows no bounds. He would die for his siblings and the people they love, but what he really wants is to start a family of his own. Deep down, Vittorio has always known finding a woman who could ride shadows would be nearly impossible—let alone one who could accept his particular needs—and he never expected to find her in the middle of a kidnapping.…

Grace Murphy has always been drawn to Vittorio Ferraro—or at least to the billionaire’s public bad-boy persona. Now that she’s under his protection and the sole focus of his intense caring, she can’t help wanting to get as close to him as possible. But Grace knows her presence is putting the entire Ferraro family in danger. Her monster of a brother will never let her go, but Vittorio has no intention of losing the woman whose shadow matches his own.

Review: Intense just like all the rest. He is a very dominating man and she has lived a lot of her life dealing with abuse and fear. When Grace jumps out of a trunk and fights back against being sold for human trafficking, Vittorio knows she is the one. When she jumps in front of a bullet to protect him, he decides he will do whatever it takes to win her forever and protect her from her adoptive brother who is hell-bent on controlling her life and every aspect of it. The story was good. I think she was a little too submissive at times and he, too domineering at times, but they did make a cute couple and the story was good. Great villain and conflict. The drama with the Ferraro family is going strong. I want Emma’s story so bad!  There has been 3 books in this series so far, this one wasn’t my favorite, but it was good and kept you turning the pages from start to finish. The passion was intense and the culmination of the conflict, good. Very enjoyable.

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A Cowboy Like You (Heart of Texas #4) by Donna Grant

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A Cowboy Like YouA Cowboy Like You (Heart of Texas #4) by Donna Grant

Release Date: November 26th

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Synopsis: In the Heart of Texas, a heartthrob cowboy may get his second chance at love…

Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and anyone who asks, that he is married to his job―and what matters most is keeping the people of his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn’t gotten over his high school crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny’s heart with her.

Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home―where it all began for her. But that’s what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than ever. But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar’s wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set on tearing them apart?

Review: The next installment in the Hearts of Texas brings us the very loyal Sheriff, Danny, who has played an important role in all of the books starting with book 1. Skylar is the one that got away and Danny finds himself in the right place at the right time to save Skylar from an abusive ex-boyfriend who has followed her from Houston.  He doesn’t even want to think about what could have happened if he hadn’t gone out to the rest stop to eat dinner.  Skylar never thought that she would return home, but when she runs from an abusive situation, home is exactly where she ends up and runs into her high school secret crush, Danny, when he comes to her aid.  From the get-go, the sparks and attraction between the two are obvious to all and when her ex-boyfriend ends up being from a prominent Houston family, the Harpers and Easts come to her aid and return all of the favors Danny has done for them in the years they have known each other.  Their story was sweet, with a bit of adventure, a nasty bad guy, and a dramatic conclusion. I enjoyed their story, but I think I liked the other three more than I did this one, not sure why, but I think it was missing something. Not sure what though.

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Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas (River Ranch #3) by Soraya Lane

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Once Upon a Cowboy ChristmasOnce Upon A Cowboy Christmas (River Ranch #3) by Soraya Lane

Release Date: October 29th

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Synopsis: Billionaires, cowboys, and romance collide during the holidays in this next book in the River Ranch series!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the Ford family ranch. Will one cowboy’s homecoming be the greatest gift of all?

He left town and never looked back.
Cody Ford is a Wall Street honcho with humble Texas roots. This holiday season, he’d be content to just stay in New York and not face his family―and dodge their questions about when and with whom he plans to settle down. . .and if he will do so back at home. But his father isn’t getting any younger, and Cody doesn’t want to miss any last chances to see him and the rest of the folks back on the ranch. The last person Cody was expecting to see? His one-time girlfriend, Lexi Murphy, who’s been working as his dad’s new live-in nurse.

She never forgot him. Can she ever forgive him?
Lexi still holds a grudge against Cody. Back then, the college-bound heartthrob believed he was too good for a small-town girl like Lexi. But now Cody can’t help but see her in a whole new light. Could it be that this beautiful single mother with an unbeatable can-do spirit is the one he’s been waiting for all along? That depends on whether Cody can prove to Lexi that, this time, he means business―and if a sudden snowstorm can lend just the right amount of Christmas magic to help move things along. . .

Review: I really enjoyed this story. It took the couple 15 years, but they finally got their happily ever after. Cody ran away when his mom was fighting and dying of cancer and when he did, he also left (and forgot) about the girl he loved. 15 yrs later he comes home for Christmas and finds her as his dad’s nurse. And he doesn’t recognize her at first!  The scene was great, watching as his dad spills the beans right in front of both of them as to who she is.  She doesn’t hold any punches either about how she feels about him now. Lexi hasn’t forgotten Cody, and she hasn’t forgiven him either. Their story was sweet, passionate, had the emotional tension that I love in a story, and the ending, was perfect. Loved it and want more from the other siblings who haven’t found their true loves yet.

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Under the Mistletoe (Secret Heart Ink #4) by Deborah Cooke

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Under the MistletoeUnder the Mistletoe (Secret Heart Ink #4) by Deborah Cooke

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Synopsis: Chynna has loved and lost…
Even though it’s been years, Christmas reminds Chynna of her husband’s death and makes her miss him even more. Attending Lexi and Gabe’s Christmas wedding sounds like a reminder of everything she’s lost, until she’s persuaded to go and share their joy. Once there, a hook-up with Trevor, Gabe’s handsome partner, could be another way to move beyond her grief—and Trevor makes taking that risk more than worthwhile, re-awakening Chynna to sensation and passion.

Trevor has never had time for love…
He’s always been focussed on building success. But now that Trevor’s financial ambitions are achieved, he’s realized that he has no one to enjoy the rewards with him. His friend Gabe’s wedding makes him aware that he doesn’t want to be alone anymore. Chynna is the most attractive woman he’s met in years and Trevor knows that it will take more one night together to satisfy him. Chynna is the woman he’s been waiting for—all he has to do is convince her to take a chance on love again, with him.

Review: This was a very cute story about the tattoo artist who instigated three women to seek out their happiness and true love by giving them secret heart tattoos. The story was sweet, steady, passionate, and romantic. Trevor was a perfect match for her and I like that he went after what he wanted. Chynna’s backstory was heartbreaking. It was a very cute and easy read, though not my favorite in the Secret Heart series, but I am happy with how it turned out for Chynna.

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Promise of Darkness (Dark Court Rising #1) by Bec McMaster

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Promise of DarknessPromise of Darkness (Dark Court Rising #1) by Bec McMaster

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Synopsis: Princess. Tribute. Sacrifice. Is she the one prophesied to unite two warring Fae courts? Or the one bound to destroy them?

In a realm ruled by magic, the ruthless Queen of Thorns is determined to destroy her nemesis, the cursed Prince of Evernight.

With war brewing between the bitter enemies, the prince forces Queen Adaia to uphold an ancient treaty: she will send one of her daughters to his court as a political hostage for three months.

The queen insists it’s the perfect opportunity for Princess Iskvien to end the war before it begins. But one look into Thiago’s smouldering eyes and Vi knows she’s no assassin.

The more secrets she uncovers about the prince and his court, the more she begins to question her mother’s motives.

Who is the true enemy? The dark prince who threatens her heart? Or the ruthless queen who will stop at nothing to destroy him?

And when the curse threatens to shatter both courts, is she strong enough to break it?

A fairytale twist inspired by the Hades and Persephone myth.

Review: A nice new spin on the classic Hades and Persephone story. It was good, intense, and emotional. I liked it. Not my favorite Bec McMaster book, but I think it definitely has potential. The plot concept was interesting and different. The characters were well developed. I’m not sure what slowed me down in reading it, but I did feel like there were parts I struggled to keep up with it. I am interested in more from the couple and their friends and of course her mother who is a real piece of work to curse her own daughter to forget the man she loves and married over and over for 13 long years. I don’t understand how he kept going after each time of having to woo her slowly; even with the 3 month time clock ticking away, and then to be confronted with someone who saw you as a stranger 9 months later. Heart-breaking. But it does end well, though there is a major cliffhanger; a new war starts on the last page of the book. It will be interesting to see how this new series unfolds.

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The Orchid Throne Blog Tour

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The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires #1) by Jeffe Kennedy

Release Date: September 24th 

Book Review Here

Synopsis: Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.

A PRISONER OF FATE

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?


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About the Author:

JEFFE KENNEDY is an award-winning, bestselling author who writes fantasy, fantasy Jeffe Kennedy_credit Pritschow Photographyromance, and contemporary romance. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA as a Director at Large.

Her most recent works include Prisoner of the Crown and the upcoming Exile of the Seas, from her high fantasy trilogy from Rebel Base books, The Chronicles of Dasnaria, in the same world as her award-winning fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms and The Uncharted Realms. She is a hybrid author, and also self-publishes a fantasy series, Sorcerous Moons. Her books have won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015, been named Best Book of June 2014, and won RWA’s prestigious RITA® Award.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and on Twitter @jeffekennedy.


Excerpt from The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy

“Arise, Your Highness. The realm awaits the sun of Your presence.”

The ritual words cut through the thick smoke of the nightmare, bringing me awake with a start. A bad omen that I hadn’t come out of the dreams on my own—and a sign that gave the images the power to linger in my mind, stains refusing to be scrubbed clean.

The wolf fought its chains, howling in hoarse rage, shedding fire and ash.

The sea churned, bloodred and crimson dark, bones tossed in the waves, white as foam.

The tower fell into a pile of golden rubble, then to fine sand, the grains sliding against one another with soul-grinding whispered screams.

I loathe dreaming, where I have even less control than in the waking world. Calanthe Herself sings sweetly to me of the seas, the plants, and the creatures that walk Her soil. But outside our fragile island, the abandoned lands beyond cry like frightened children in the night. I can’t help them. It’s all I can do to protect Calanthe, and most days I despair of being able to do even that.

Still, with no one else to hear them, they call to me in chaotic images, the nightmares dashing me from one dark scenario to the next. No matter how the dreams plague me, I usually wake when the light of the rising sun reddens my eyelids. I keep my eyes closed, pretending to anyone who checks on me that I’m still asleep. Pulling the pieces of my composure together, I listen to the morning song of Calanthe. The birds sitting high in the canopy to catch the first warming rays of the sun show me the sky. The fish swimming in the sea speak of clean water and plentiful food. Even the trees, the flowers, the small insects in the soil all hum to me of their lives.

All reassure me of the balance, that Calanthe, at least, is peaceful and vital.

Only I and the land I’m tied to exist in that time after sleep and before true waking, in what I call the dreamthink, an almost enchanted bubble where I belong entirely to Calanthe. The emperor does not own me. The crying lands he’s orphaned are silent. My ladies have not yet woken me to wrenching reality and the trials of the day ahead.

Dreams always seem to me a terrible price to pay for the succor of sleep. Neither my naturalists nor my physicians seem to be able to explain the purpose of such dreams. And of course, Anure killed all the wizards, so I have none to tell me if magic can answer those nighttime screams. So without answers, and like the exorbitant tithes I’m forced to send to the emperor, I do pay the price, and nightly. The dreamthink is my reward, my time with Calanthe. A gift arising from waking Ejarat of the earth welcoming the return of Her husband, Sawehl of the sun. In the dreamthink, in Calanthe’s sweet communion, I can believe the old gods are with us still, that they haven’t abandoned us. That I have reason to hope.

“Euthalia, wake up. We’re ready,” Tertulyn whispered in my ear. My first lady-in-waiting, doing her duty as always. She couldn’t know she’d woken me from the nightmare instead of the dreamthink. Or that starting my day this way meant it would be certainly cursed.

No one believes in omens or curses anymore. Or hope, for that matter. In this, too, I am alone.

Euthalia is a mouthful, but no one calls me that except for Tertulyn so it doesn’t matter. Only Emperor Anure has the rank to address me by my given name, and I avoid conversation with His Imperial Nastiness to the best of my ability. Tertulyn has called me by my name since we were children, but only when no one can overhear, as etiquette demands.

As if she’d whispered them into my ear along with my name, the concerns of the realm immediately flooded my mind. The emperor’s emissary should have returned in the night and would want an audience with me—something I’d been dreading, as he never brought good news. Rumors had spread of slave uprisings, possibly even rebellion, as unlikely as that would be, that had the emperor both angry and insecure in his power. The worst possible combination in a man like him.

If I believed a rebellion could succeed, I would rejoice in the battle to come. But I had no hope of that. No one could defy Anure’s vast power and ability to destroy the least whimper of resistance, as all those kingless and queenless lands testified, crying their hopelessness to me every night.

No, such rumors meant the Imperial Tyrant would only tighten his fist—one that already strangled us nearly to death. The prospect of worse to come made me inexpressibly weary, and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet.

Nevertheless, I had to face the day. A realm awaited the sun of my presence, after all.

I opened my eyes and pasted a serene smile on my lips.

Tertulyn—already wigged, gowned, and decked in fresh flowers—stood a decorous three steps back from my bed, hands folded over her heart. All equally polished and lovely as morning dew, my five junior ladies awaited in a ring around her. They’d all been up since well before dawn to dress themselves before attending me. And yet their eyes sparkled as brightly as the birds that had shown me the sun on the sea, pretty painted lips curved in delighted smiles. Though I was only twenty-six, they made me feel old.

If a witch offered me a magic potion to remove the last ten years and restore my youth—and the innocent belief I’d had then, that my life would be a good one—I’d down it without question. Even if it meant my death the next day. No, that was a lie. I would never shirk my duty to Calanthe, not even for such a fantasy. Not without an heir to take my place. No matter how old and tired I felt.


Links

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250194312

Author website: JeffeKennedy.com

The SFF Seven blog: https://sffseven.blogspot.com/ on Sundays

Author Twitter: @jeffekennedy

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffe.kennedy

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1014374.Jeffe_Kennedy 

SMP Romance Twitter: @SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts

SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/

Fever (Dark Kings #16) by Donna Grant

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Fever-DGFever (Dark Ings #16) by Donna Grant

Release Date: October 29th

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Synopsis: His kiss was fire and passion. She shivered, wondering how he knew just how to touch her, to send her spiraling into an abyss of pleasure…

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bear his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?

Review: Oh, so good. Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!  Skip to next paragraph if you don’t want to know. Go on, move to the next paragraph, you might not want to know this big tid-bit that happens in this installment…last chance…Ubitch dies. Finally. Yeah!  So good and her battle with Rhi was epic.

Ok, now for review, I pick up books by other authors and it takes work to read it. I pick up a DG book and it is the furthest thing from work! It’s an adventure, start to finish. Easy to read and easy to keep up with. So much fun. The battle finally comes with the Dragon King’s, Rhi, and Balladyn vs the Light Fae Queen and it is epic. The couple in this one I actually had a moment or two to think he wouldn’t acknowledge that she was his mate. I truly had to stop and think, is he that stupid?  Even the other kings kept calling him an idiot because he wouldn’t stop fighting it. Bernadette brought attention to herself by publicly saying she had evidence that dragons were real, so of course a king is sent to investigate. What they all didn’t get at first was that the queen was behind it, again, until Bernadette went to Dreagan to get the other side of the story, ballsy on her part! Loved it. So good. Want more. Won’t say what else happens, but it’s EPIC!  You need to read it.

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This Earl of Mine (Bow Street Bachelors #1) by Kate Bowman

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The Earl of MineThe Earl of Mine (Bow Street Bachelors #1) by Kate Bowman

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Synopsis: The first book in a new Regency romance series, an heiress and a rogue accidentally end up in a secret marriage of convenience.

In a desperate bid to keep her fortune out of her cousin’s hands, shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed marries a condemned criminal in Newgate prison. The scoundrel’s first kiss is shockingly heated, but Georgie never expects to see her husband again. Until she spots him across a crowded ballroom. Notorious rogue Benedict Wylde never expected a wife. He was in Newgate undercover, working for Bow Street. To keep their marriage of convenience a secret, Wylde courts Georgie in public, but the more time they spend together, the more their attraction sparks. Could an heiress with the world at her feet find happiness with a penniless rake? Kate Bateman’s This Earl of Mine is a delightful start to the Bow Street Bachelors series, with witty banter, dynamic characters, and swoon-worthy romance.

Review: This was very enjoyable and entertaining. The female lead was strong and independent and came alive off the page. The male lead was a perfect match for her and every interaction between the two was thrilling and enjoyable. The plot was strong and it had a steady pace with no dull moments. I really liked this story and everything about it. Delicious. Action filled. Passionate. And entertaining from start to finish. Kate Bateman has a great knack for making her characters as alive and as colorful as her covers, which are stunning.  I look forward to the next books in the series, each of the bachelors deserve to find their equal and a woman that will keep them on their toes.

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The Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers #5) by Christi Caldwell

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The SpitfireThe Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers #5) by Christi Caldwell

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Synopsis: Her dream is to open a music hall. Only one thing stands in her way—the man she loves. The final Wicked Wallflowers novel from USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell.

Leaving behind her life as a courtesan and madam, Clara Winters is moving far from the sinful life to which she was accustomed in the gaming hell the Devil’s Den. Her more reputable and fulfilling endeavor is a music hall for the masses. One night, when she sees a man injured on the streets of East London, she rushes to his aid and brings him home. It’s then that she discovers he’s Henry March, Earl of Waterson, and a member of Parliament. No good can come from playing nursemaid to a nobleman.

When Henry rouses to meet his savior in blonde curls, he is dazzled. This smart and loving spitfire challenges his every notion of the lower classes—and every moment together is a thrill. But after Henry returns to his well-ordered existence, he strikes a political compromise that has unintended consequences. Will his vision for London mean dashing the dreams of his lovely guardian angel?

Review: This one focused on Clara, the ex-madam turned business partner with Reggie Killoran. Her dream of owning a music hall is in peril from the stodgy and prudish political aristocrats and she goes head to head with one of the ringleaders, the Earl of Waterson. He is perfect for her. Stodgy, prudish, proper, and doesn’t know how to have fun of any kind or act irresponsibly. Who better to shake up his world than Clara and she knocks him on his arse, literally, when he jeopardizes her dreams. She saved him months ago on the streets of St. Giles and when he leaves, she never expects to see him again. Their interactions from the moment she shows up at his home and punches him were entertaining, priceless, beautiful, and passionate. I very much enjoyed their story. I hope Henry’s sister Lila gets her own book, she deserves happiness too.

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The Bluestocking (Wicked Wallflowers #4) by Christi Caldwell

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The Blue StockingThe Bluestocking (Wicked Wallflowers #4) by Christi Caldwell

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SynopsisTwo damaged hearts learn there’s a fine line between love and hate in a Wicked Wallflowers novel from USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell.

Gertrude, the eldest Killoran sister, has spent a lifetime being underestimated—especially by her own family. She may seem as vulnerable as a kitten, but given the chance, she can be as fierce as a tiger. Her adopted brother, Stephen, has just been snatched back by his true father, and she’ll be damned if she relinquishes the boy to the man reviled throughout London as the Mad Marquess.

Still haunted by a deadly tragedy that left him publicly despised, Lord Edwin holds only hatred for the Killorans—the people he believes kidnapped his son. And not one of them will ever see the boy again. But when Gertrude forces her way into the household and stubbornly insists that she remain as Stephen’s governess, Edwin believes he may have found someone madder than himself.

With every moment he shares with the tenderhearted Gertrude, Edwin’s anger softens into admiration…and more. Is it possible that the woman he loathed may be the only person who can heal his broken soul?

Review: I looked forward to this one ever since the “Mad Marquess” made his first appearance. I’m glade Gertrude got her happily-ever-after and that Stephen found his real father and got to keep his adoptive family as well. The story was enjoyable and entertaining. The passion good and the pace steady. It isn’t my favorite in the series, but I wasn’t bored with it and I enjoyed watching the characters grow and forgive and heal. Overall good story and strong characters.

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Fighting For Her (Wilde Ways #5) by Cynthia Eden

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Fighting for HerFighting for Her (Wilde Ways #5) by Cynthia Eden

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Synopsis: Beauty and the Beast? Nah…this isn’t some sweet fairy tale. FIGHTING FOR HER is about danger, action, and a whole lot of hot romance.

He’s been called a beast…and he likes the title. 

Rick Williams is big, bad, and not someone you want to have as an enemy. As an agent with Wilde Securities, his job is to kick butt and take names. Protecting and defending—that’s part of his package deal, but his cases don’t usually involve him protecting someone like her.

A crime princess with a body made for the sweetest sin. 

Kathleen O’Shaughnessy is the daughter of an infamous mob boss. Her father made sure that she was locked away from the world so Kat didn’t exactly have easy street growing up. Now that her father is dead, she’s suddenly out on her own—and she’s the target of every enemy that her father made in his very long career.

Keep the princess alive. Keep his hands off her.

The government wants to use Kat as a witness to take down what’s left of her father’s organization. To do that, though, Kat has to stay alive. She’s not big into the whole witness protection scene. Boring guys in cheap suits aren’t her thing. Kat needs protection that’s a bit…Wilder. Good thing Rick is up for the challenge. One look at Kat, and her protection—and her pleasure—are at the top of his to-do list.

It’s not the beast that needs taming. It’s the princess. 

There are seven days until the trial. Seven days in which Rick has to keep Kat at his side day and night. It should be an easy enough task…but when the bullets start flying and they have to go on the run, Rick finds out that the protected “princess” isn’t who he thought. Kat is about to wreck his world, and it’s gonna be one heck of a wild battle.

He’ll do whatever it takes…

He’ll fight hard and he’ll fight dirty to keep her alive. And he’ll also fight with every bit of his strength to win Kat’s heart. The beast is falling hard and fast…and his princess holds his battered heart in the palm of her hand.

Author’s Note: Are you up for a twisted and hot take on a wild fairytale? Rick might be a fierce beast, but when the man falls, he falls hard. Prepare for an alpha hero, dangerous fun, hot romance, and some bad guys that are on the scary side. FIGHTING FOR HER is a stand-alone read, no cliff-hangers.

Review: I cannot say enough about how much I love this series. Intense. Passionate. Filled with action and drama. Great characters and each one has a captivating plot. I love it.  I want more. I want Cole’s story and Ghost’s story. Rick was a firefighter with Julia, and so we already know his backstory, and I was so excited to read his own adventure and love story. Kat is a material witness in a mob related court case and she has to get there alive, something no one connected to her dead mod boss father wants to happen.  Enter Wilde securities.  The FBI has a leak and it is up to Rick to keep her alive for one week until her trial.  Their chemistry was off the charts the moment they meet in Eric’s office.  Rick’s problem comes in that Kat is intent on running to keep everyone else alive. The back and forth the two take part in in the beginning was fun to watch; she knew how to get under his skin.  Every second was great and there were some nice surprises along the way.  I highly recommend the series.

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The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires #1) by Jeffe Kennedy

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The Orchid ThroneThe Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires #1) by Jeffe Kennedy

Release Date: September 24th 

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Synopsis: Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.

A PRISONER OF FATE

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

Review: This one was hard to like. Great concept, in fact days after writing the draft of the review, it does stay with you, but I don’t like first person POV and the couple doesn’t meet until more than half way through the book. Once they meet they are enemies, then  they respect each other, then enemies again, then married. The next morning they are all of a sudden soft and supportive and affectionate towards each other. There was no build up of the relationship. The conflict was him coming and taking over, not something they had to solve together or survive together. The book ends with too much unresolved so there is going to be more books, however the only conclusion of this story is that they will fight together. There wasn’t enough romance or build up. I liked the characters and plot concept, but would have preferred the book have more of them together and a different POV. I can’t say that I liked this book, which is a shame, because again the plot concept is really good. It just wasn’t executed well for my reading tastes.

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Blog Tour! How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

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How to Love a Duke in Ten days_MMHow to Love a Duke in Ten Days (Devil You Know #1) by Kerrigan Byrne

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Book Review Here

Synopsis: These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.


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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later

 Alexander,

Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.

 —Frank

Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from Lon- don to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.

The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Fran- cesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.

The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, pri- vate railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough- featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.

Alone.

He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her cor- respondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.

It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.

But she knew they would hear her scream, and that pro- vided some relief.

For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.

Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situa- tion so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people be- haved when in company.

It had worked thus far.

Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted com- panion.

Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflict- ing documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.

A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.

A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.

Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.

Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.

The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.

The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.

Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.

Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.

So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?

Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.

A risky venture, to be sure.

From How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. Copyright © 2019 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


Author Bio:

Kerrigan Byrne

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBIAgents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.


 

 

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days (Devil You Know #1) by Kerrigan Byrne

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How to Love a Duke in Ten days_MMHow to Love a Duke in Ten Days (Devil You Know #1) by Kerrigan Byrne

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Synopsis: These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

Review: This was such a great story. The plot was strong and captivating. The characters were intense and alive on the page, so much so, that you can’t help but go on their adventure with them. They had highs and lows, intense emotional scenes, beautiful passion, and a really engaging conflict. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like in this book. Great read and I want more. I highly recommend this new series if you enjoy historical romance.

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Dark Alpha’s Redemption (Reapers #8) by Donna Grant

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Dark Alpha's RedemptionDark Alpha’s Redemption (Reapers #8) by Donna Grant

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Synopsis: There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

My duty to Death drives me forward. I’ve never once strayed from my path – not even when the future seemed uncertain. However, Maeve’s intelligence, cunning and determination challenges me in ways I never imagined. Finding out what she knows is the key to learning how to conquer our enemy. The Dark Fae breathes new life into me unlike anything I’ve ever known. For Maeve, I will risk trusting the Dark. For her…I will battle darkness itself.

Review: This was so good. I couldn’t put it down and I loved every second. The last several books I’ve read have been a struggle and have been real work to get through. It was so refreshing to start this one and find the ease and enjoyment that I typically get out of reading. This one wasn’t a chore. It was enjoyable, so passionate, had great characters, and the plot and long-term conflict within the franchise just keeps heating up. The Dark Kings and Reapers world is heating up and war is just around the corner. Can’t wait for more.

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The Duke is But a Dream (Debutante Diaries #2) by Anna Bennett

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The Duke is but a DreamThe Duke is But a Dream (Debutante Diaries #2) by Anna Bennett

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Synopsis: Once upon a time three young ladies vowed to record their first London seasons…and to fill in the gaps of their finishing school educations. Thus began The Debutante Diaries—and London will never be the same…

HE’S COME TO HER RESCUE

Miss Lily Hartley is the anonymous mastermind behind the ton’s latest obsession: The Debutante’s Revenge, a titillating advice column for ladies on the marriage mart. To keep her identity secret, Lily delivers her columns disguised as a chimney sweep—which is all well and good, until she unwittingly lands in the middle of an ugly tavern brawl. Fortunately, the devastatingly handsome Duke of Stonebridge sweeps in to rescue her.Unfortunately, Lily’s dressed as a boy—and holding rather incriminating evidence linking her to the scandalous column. Drat.

SHE’S LOST HER MEMORY

When Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, sees a helpless lad receive a nasty blow to the head, he’s outraged. But when he discovers there’s a beautiful woman hiding beneath the chimney sweep’s cap, he’s positively stunned. Nash would happily escort her home, but she’s forgotten her name—leaving him little choice but to take her in himself until he can locate her family. But the closer he gets to finding them, the more he doesn’t want to let her go.

WILL THEY FIND LOVE?

Lily’s trying to figure out exactly who she is…in more ways than one. With so much at stake—her column, her reputation, and even her heart—she needs a plan, and she needs it fast. Before Nash finds her family. Before he learns who she is. Before they fall totally, completely, and utterly inconveniently in love.

Review: This one was cute, a bit slow, but had good characters. The plot was interesting and something I haven’t seen much of–the whole loss of memory thing–which added to the conflict. The passion was good. I am not sure what exactly made it seem to move along slowly, but I did struggle to keep with it from time to time. I did enjoy returning to the Debutante’s Revenge group of women and definitely want more from the series, but I want to say I liked book 1 more than I liked book 2. I can’t put my finger on why this one was a bit of a struggle to read, if you have read it yet, what are your thoughts? Am I crazy about it seemed a bit slow?  Would love other’s thoughts on this one.  I do look forward to continuing with the series so this definitely was an enjoyable read, just not my favorite.

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Light of the Spirit (Muse Chronicles #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Light of the SpiritLight of the Spirit (The Muse Chronicles #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Synopsis: The gods never sleep…

As the mortal vessel for the Muse of Comedy, Lia Youlos lights up every room with laughter and smiles. But there are darker forces at work, and they want to snuff out her light forever.

Cooper Hanover is a hardworking paramedic who healed Lia after a fire, but something happened that day, something medical science couldn’t explain. And if he doesn’t figure out how it works soon, the next healing could kill him.

Lia’s smile and sharp wit tempt him to love again, and he’s not going to let anyone, not even the gods, take her from him.

The Prophecy – “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.”

Review: Returning to the Muses was enjoyable; this one focused of Lia, the Muse of Comedy, and Cooper a paramedic and her guardian.  I enjoyed their adventure a lot and they were great characters with a story that kept me turning the pages.  I read it in two days it was so good. Lisa Kessler can write such an easy story to follow and fall into. Her characters are vibrant and entertaining and the story is definitely developing with the appearance of the Greek gods to aid the Muses and their Guardians.  I am looking forward to even more because I think Kronos has shown up!  So exciting.

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Pirate’s Persuasion (Sentinels of Savannah #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Pirate's PersuasionPirate’s Persuasion (Sentinels of Savannah #4) by Lisa Kessler

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Synopsis: Immortal pirate Drake Cole has a reputation in Savannah for his custom woodworking and historical restorations, but his work has grown into an obsession. He’s become a stranger to his crew since the Sea Dog sank in 1795. None of them know his painful secret. A young stowaway went down with the ship, one that Drake swore a blood oath to protect.

The ghost of a young boy, lost at sea over two hundred years ago, leads local medium, Heather Storrey right to Drake’s door. He saved her life before, and now she has a chance to return the favor, but how can she protect him from a curse that no one can see?

A dark coven possesses the figurehead from the Flying Dutchman, and if Heather and the immortal Sea Dog crew don’t locate the relic soon, Drake may be lost to them forever. Heather has seen the passionate man behind the veil of guilt, and she’s determined to free him from his self-imposed prison, and persuade this pirate to love again.

Each book in the Sentinels of Savannah series is STANDALONE:
* Magnolia Mystic
* Pirate’s Passion
* Pirate’s Pleasure
* Pirate’s Persuasion

Review: This one was so easy to read and so enjoyable. Once I started it I couldn’t stop. It was uncomplicated and entertaining, and it had passionate and enjoyable characters who carried the plot really well. I read it in two days; I couldn’t put it down. Drake and Heather were great together and there was a perfect blend of highs and lows in their relationship to pull the reader in and keep me turning the pages and engrossed in their story. Loved every second and want more of the Pirates of Savannah!

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Highland Sword (Royal Highlander #3) by May McGoldrick

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Highland SwordHighland Sword (Royal Highlander #3) by May McGoldrick

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Synopsis: Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best. From USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick comes Highland Sword, the third book in the Royal Highlander series.

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?

Review: An entertaining read about two people fighting for the rights of the Scottish people in their own ways that find love. She was a stubborn, strong willed, sword swinging damsel that didn’t need saving. He was a barrister, also strong willed, and determined to protect the people of Scotland. She gets in his way and after that moment in an alleyway, he has his eyes set on her no matter how much she tries to push him away. Their story was fun, entertaining, had a bit of adventure, a little bit of passion, not as much as I typically like in my romance novels, but it did have some, and overall was an enjoyable story. I liked it a lot and recommend it if you enjoy strong characters and an exciting plot.

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My One True Cowboy (River Ranch #4) by Soraya Lane

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My One True CowboyMy One True Cowboy (River Ranch #4) by Soraya Lane

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Synopsis: When Angelina Ford returns home to her family’s sprawling Texas ranch, she’s hiding a secret from her super successful siblings. With her business empire left in tatters back in Los Angeles, the former high-flying lawyer has nothing and she doesn’t want anyone back home to know.

But a chance encounter with her childhood best friend, Logan Brody, changes everything. The soldier turned rancher has been to hell and back himself, and he refuses to leave her to lick her wounds and be miserable.

Neither Angelina nor Logan wants to risk their friendship, but when sparks start to fly, everything changes. And Angelina is left wondering if her big city life is everything it’s cracked up to be, or if happiness has been waiting at home in Texas for her all along.

Review: This author really knows how to write a tear jerker scene, and this one had several that I just couldn’t stop crying for. The hero is so scarred and in need of healing and he lashes out at Angelina a few times, but she is so strong and they were so great together that they really carried the story well. It was real, passionate, beautiful, heartwarming, sad, and perfect. Such a beautiful story. Loved every second of it, even the parts that had me crying. The plot is strong, the conflict was real and handled well, and the characters were well-rounded and vibrant on the page. Every second of the story was great.

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Break the Day (Midnight Breed #16) by Lara Adrian

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Break the DayBreak the Day (Midnight Breed #16) by Lara Adrian

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Synopsis: After a shocking betrayal nearly killed him and the people he cares about the most, what Breed warrior Rafe wants more than anything is revenge against the insidious brotherhood called Opus Nostrum. But to achieve that goal, he must turn his back on the Order and infiltrate a dangerous gang with ties to Opus. Risking everything to redeem himself and carry out his deep-cover mission, Rafe will let nothing stand in his way–least of all his desire for one of the loyalists he should despise, a mysterious, dark-haired beauty named Devony Winters.

But Devony has secrets of her own to protect, as well as a personal duty she will do anything to fulfill. And as a daywalker passing herself off as human to the gang she’s been embedded with for months, the last thing she needs is a dangerous former member of the Order unraveling all her hard work. Her plans depend on keeping Rafe at arm’s length, but if she surrenders to the dark need he stirs within her, it will be her heart that pays the ultimate price.

Review: It was so good to get back to the Breed and to Rafe, who felt like he had a lot to make up for since the last time we saw him when he fell for the Opus operative. Devony also has an agenda and it doesn’t include this Breed male coming and interfering with her plans to get at Opus Nostrum for what they did to her family. The story was fast paced and passionate. The conflict was great and had several surprises that kept it interesting and not predictable. When she learns the truth, Rafe has a lot to make up for and that made for some really good reading. From start to finish it was an awesome read, I loved every second of it.

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Dark Craving (Dark Kings #0.1) by Donna Grant

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Dark CravingDark Craving (Dark Kings #0.1) by Donna Grant

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Synopsis: Fueled by ancient magic—and enflamed by human desire—the Dragon King known as Hal can transform himself at will into one of the legendary winged creatures he is sworn to protect. But one thing he can never do is fall in love…with a mortal woman.

Searching for her brother in Scotland—and succumbing to the freezing cold—Cassie Hunter awakens to find herself in the arms of a magnificent Highland warrior. Across his chest is the tattoo of a fiery dragon. And in his heart is a burning passion that, once unleashed, will consume them both…body and soul.

This is a story of destiny and desire, magic and mystery, warriors and lovers.

These are the forbidden cravings of the Dark Kings.

Review: With Con’s book coming out later this year, I had the desire to re-read the series and first up was Dark Craving, Hal and Cassie’s story. With having already read the series I did notice a few things about Ulrik’s story that changed, and Con seemed more accepting of Cassie than I remembered. I loved revisiting where it all started. Rhys was very much against the relationship, which I forgot about, and Hal and Cassie steamed up the page beautifully. Loved it and ready for more.

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The Bachelor (Duke Dynasty #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

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The BachelorThe Bachelor (Duke Dynasty #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

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Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries features an irresistible family in a series to savor, as the grown children of a thrice-married dowager duchess piece together the stories of their fathers–while pursuing passions of their own . . .

Lady Gwyn Drake has long protected her family’s reputation by hiding an imprudent affair from her youth. But when her former suitor appears at Armitage Hall, manhandling the heiress and threatening to go public with her secrets, it’s Gwyn who needs protecting. Her twin brother, Thorn, hires Joshua Wolfe, the estate’s gamekeeper, to keep her safe in London during her debut. As a war hero, Joshua feels obligated to fulfill the assignment he has accepted. But as a man, it’s torment to be so very close to the beauty he’s fought to ignore . . .

With handsome Joshua monitoring her every move, Gwyn would prefer to forget both the past and the parade of money-seeking bachelors at her coming out. But Joshua is unmoved by her attempts at flirtation, and the threat of blackmail still hangs over her. With danger closing in, Gwyn must decide which is the greater risk: deflecting a scoundrel’s attempts to sabotage her–or revealing her whole heart to the rugged bodyguard she can’t resist . . .

Review: This was a classic Sabrina Jeffries romance with two strong main characters, an interesting plot that kept the story steady without any dull points, and a conflict that was believable and entertaining. The passion was great and I loved the two main characters a lot. Joshua was an enigmatic and complex male lead that really carried the story well. Gwen started off coming across as a bit weak, but definitely improved and was the perfect match for Joshua. They worked well together and there isn’t anything I can say that I didn’t like about this story. Loved it.

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Just One Fake Date (Flatiron Five Fitness #1) by Deborah Cooke

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Just One Fake DateJust One Fake Date (Flatiron Five Fitness #1) by Deborah Cooke

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Synopsis: Straight out of college, five friends with a dream joined forces to build success. Ten years later, their exclusive fitness club, Flatiron Five Fitness, is the hottest destination in Manhattan. People flock to F5F to get fit, to get lucky, and even, to fall in love. The founding partners have been immune to F5F’s romantic spell—at least, so far…

Tyler McKay has a plan…
And it doesn’t include a serious relationship anytime soon. Between his day job and being a partner at Flatiron 5 Fitness, he’s busy investing in the future. But Ty knows that going stag to his sister’s wedding will encourage the family matchmakers: he needs a fake date, fast, in self-defense. When the one woman who hates him walks into F5F, Ty knows he’s found the perfect candidate—that Shannyn doesn’t play by anyone’s rules just leaves Ty wanting more…

Shannyn Hawke is done with plans and dreams…
She had her whole life mapped out, but it all went wrong. Now, she’s taking care of number one and living in the moment, with no concern for the future. If her college crush wants to trade a fake wedding date for physical satisfaction, Shannyn is in. But just one night proves that Tyler is everything she believes a guy should be, plus he takes it as a challenge to change her mind about him. Shannyn never wants to have her heart broken again, but she’s falling hard and fast. Can she remember that it’s just for show? Or will Tyler convince Shannyn to take a chance on forever again?

Review: Deborah Cooke decided to re-write the first book of the Flatiron Five Fitness with a new female lead for Tyler, Shannyn Hawke, with a whole new plot. Shannyn is a freelance photogapher who went to college with Tyler and she has a job to cover the alumni who own Flatiron Five Fitness. From the moment she walks into his office, sparks fly and the story vibe was a lot different from the original book.  I liked it a lot. I liked the chemistry between Shannyn and Tyler, I enjoyed watching Tyler fight for a real relationship with her, and the passion was great between the two.  The original book had Tyler playing two characters, him and a BDSM character with Amy and I just didn’t like how Amy had difficulty seeing how Tyler is the man for her.  In this one, Shannyn had commitment issues, and I liked that conflict better. Tyler had to fight to prove to her that a relationship could work and that he wasn’t going anywhere. There was no need for any subterfuge in this one and I loved how the story flowed and concluded. Overall, so much better start to a series that was awesome! I just want to know what his new buildboard looks like with Shannyn 🙂

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Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor

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Wild Wild RakeWild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Jenna MacGregor

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Synopsis: Her first marriage was an epic failure.

Lady Avalon Warwyck never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry―that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?

Devan Farris―charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian―is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with vicar with a wild reputation―even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside―a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?

Review: This was entertaining, fun, and passionate.  I liked the characters; especially the back story for Avalon, the flashback at the beginning created the emotional tether from her to the reader that carried for the whole story. I did like that Avalon and Mary became friends even with the difficult situation created by her husband. I would love to see Mary have a story, I wanted more with her and I don’t understand how she could stand Richard for treating Avalon the way he did.  Devin wasn’t as strong as a character, like Avalon, but I liked him with her; and I kind of wish he hadn’t been a vicar, I think that was what made him a bit standoffish for me. Their story was sweet and romantic and I enjoyed the whole thing. The conclusion added a bit of drama when they had to rescue her sister and friend. Otherthan his profession, I have no negative thoughts about the story.  I do like when the male lead is a rake in truth who learns the errors of their ways, rather than a rake in name only who finds the one woman he saught from the moment they met 10 years earlier. Overall, very enjoyable, passion was great, and the plot was entertaining and strong.

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Razr (Demonica #15) by Larissa Ione

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RazrRazr (Demonica #15) by Larissa Ione

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Synopsis: A fallen angel with a secret.

An otherworldly elf with an insatiable hunger she doesn’t understand.

A cursed gem.

Meet mortal enemies Razr and Jedda…and the priceless diamond that threatens to destroy them both even as it bonds them together with sizzling passion.

Welcome back to the Demonica Underworld, where enemies find love…if they’re strong enough to survive.

Review: I really liked Razr and Jedda. They were fun characters and their adventure was exciting, passionate, and fun. Razr need to find a special diamond that he lost, what he doesn’t realize is(no spoiler, promise) that Jedda has it and can’t give it up without dieing.  Jedda has been cursed by a Unfallen angel to find it and a crystal horn and Razr tags along.  She worries that once Razr knows that she already has the diamond that he will kill her to get it.  When the truth comes out, both Razr and Jedda join forces to stop the Unfallen.  The way the story ends was awesome and the passion in the story was great!  Ione knows how to write a passionate scene and has just enough to make the story steamy but doesn’t over do it.  Overall, great short story.

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Z (Demonica Underworld #3) by Larissa Ione

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ZZ (Demonica Underworld #3) by Larissa Ione

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Synopsis: Zhubaal, fallen angel assistant to the Grim Reaper, has spent decades searching for the angel he loved and lost nearly a century ago. Not even her death can keep him from trying to find her, not when he knows she’s been given a second chance at life in a new body. But as time passes, he’s losing hope, and he wonders how much longer he can hold to the oath he swore to her so long ago…

As an emim, the wingless offspring of two fallen angels, Vex has always felt like a second-class citizen. But if she manages to secure a deal with the Grim Reaper — by any means necessary — she will have earned her place in the world. The only obstacle in the way of her plan is a sexy hardass called Z, who seems determined to thwart her at every turn. Soon it becomes clear that they have a powerful connection rooted in the past…but can any vow stand the test of time?

Review: This novella is fast paced and a passionate read. The characters are strong and entertaining. I did find the ending a bit abrupt; I think she forgave him a bit too fast, I would have liked for her to make him earn her forgiveness for a bit longer than she did.  My only guess is that Ione needed to finish it within a certain number of words/pages.  Other than the fast ending, I enjoyed the story and returning to the Demonica universe, it has been too many years.

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Tucker (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

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TuckerTucker (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

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Synopsis: Hope springs eternal in this enchanting Texas town.

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue but when an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs…

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime. . .until death do they part.

Review: It was a cute story, a bit slow at times, but overall a cute romantic story.  I had a hard time sticking with it. There was some passion, the story line was alright- nothing over dramatic- Gillian was engaged to a guy that really didn’t respect her dreams and he breaks things off shortly before the wedding, and Tucker is a rough-around-the-edges guy that just retired from the military who sets his eyes on her as his forever and works towards that end.  It was sweet, just a bit slower than I like. I made it to chapter 12, which is 57%, before I had to start skimming through it to get it done, which I never do. If you like sweet home-town romances without a lot of drama or emotional turmoil to get through, this is a Romance for you! It is on the tamer side for those who don’t like too much sex scenes. If you prefer stories that have more steamy scenes from start-to-finish (not necessarily sex just chemistry) than you will find this more on the tame sweet side, nothing wrong with that, just go in expecting it. I did like Jackson more than I did Tucker.

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Flame (Dark Kings #17) by Donna Grant

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FlameFlame (Dark Kings #17) by Donna Grant

Release Date: June 30th

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Synopsis: Flame is the next Dark Kings book in New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant’s series.

If she believed in destiny, she would believe they were meant for each other.
But that fire was put out long ago. . .

Living among the Dragon Kings, Cain has spent lifetimes learning to distrust both mortals and Fae. He is a warrior born—and every instinct demands that he fight to keep his own kind safe. But when a fringe member of the Dark Fae contacts the Kings with an urgent warning, Cain is torn for the first time. How can he trust this beautiful creature when resisting his primal attraction to her is battle enough?

Noreen is horrified by what her kind and the malevolent Others are planning for the Dragon Kings. Dark Fae or not, there are lines she will not cross—even if it means risking her life. But she never imagined that she would risk her heart until she meets Cain. She wants him with a soul-deep desire that frightens her…and endangers them both. Is saying goodbye to everything Noreen has ever known worth a love that will span time and realms?

Review: (There is a small spoiler in this review about Balladyn)

It has been quite a while since I read anything, or wanted to.  I have books for NetGalley I need to read, but couldn’t bring myself to want to during these new times we have found ourselves in. Call it depression. Call it boredom. Call it a lack of motivation-Whatever it is, I found myself not wanting to read for the first time in years, even though I now find I have plenty of time to do it. So when I sat down to finally try, I knew I couldn’t go to the books that I had to read, because of their release dates or blog tours that I signed up for, I had to go to something that would remind me why I love to read, so I went to Donna Grant. Her stories and characters make it so easy to forget about reality. The emotional roller coaster her characters go on is a great distraction from the roller coaster that is real life stresses. The highs and lows between Cain and Noreen became an escape to peace and pleasure and freedom from the news reports constantly in our faces about Social Distancing, masks, and schools being closed.  Con is unraveling. The battle with the Others comes to one conclusion, but the final battle with Moreanne and Useail is still to come. Rhi is fighting with herself, Balladyn is back (no shock there and loved that scene between him and Rhi), the scope of Rhi’s power is almost goddess-like, the Reapers finally join in (about damn time) and well, all in all, this story was exactly what I needed to remind me why I LOVE to read!  Sometimes I get sucked into reading for the blog and forgot why I started the blog in the first place. To share the love of the books I want to read and the authors that I have come to follow because their worlds and characters and stories are just so life like and enjoyable that I want to share them with you. I think Con’s book is next and I can’t wait for it! This one was so good and the series is by far my favorite. It has everything you want in a romance series; action, suspense, passion, moments of emotional tension, humor, and characters that fly off the page!! I loved it. Now on to one of the books I signed up to read…

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Scott Under the Covers (Wild Wicked Highlanders #2) by Suzanne Enoch

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Scot Under the CoversScott Under the Covers (Wild Wicked Highlanders #2) by Suzanne Enoch

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Synopsis: When a resourceful English lady and a hot-blooded Highlander join forces to trick a scoundrel, every rule will be broken!

Miranda Harris is known for her charm, wit, and ability to solve any problem she encounters. But when her brother lands neck-deep in gambling debt to a crafty villain and Miranda is subsequently blackmailed into marrying him, she must enlist the help of the devil himself to save the family honor―and herself.

Devilishly handsome Highlander Aden MacTaggert knows next to nothing about the ways of the ton, but he most certainly knows his way around gaming halls and womens’ hearts. Still, Aden is not sure how he’ll manage to find a Sassenach bride in time to save his family’s inheritance. When his almost sister-in-law Miranda comes to him for assistance, he proposes a partnership: She will help him navigate London society and he’ll teach her everything about wagering…and winning back her freedom. The beautiful, clever lass intrigues Aden―but is she playing her own game, or are the sparks between them real? He is accustomed to risking his pocket. But betting on Miranda’s love is a game he can’t afford to lose. . .

Review:  This was a fun read, the passion was great, and the characters were strong and I enjoyed the plot a lot. I do wish Vale got more than he did in the end, punishment-wise. He seemed to give up too quickly at the end that it was almost anticlimactic. I loved the part where Aden had help getting into the bank. Overall, good story, and I loved how Miranda proposed to him instead of the classic guy doing the proposing. Too perfect.

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Blog Tour: Tucker (Eternity Springs: McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

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TuckerEternity Springs: Tucker (The McBrides of Texas #2) by Emily March

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Synopsis: From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emily March comes the second book in the Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas trilogy, TUCKER (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, February 25, 2020, $7.99). Two business owners come head-to-head in a feud with tulle and grit in this passionate story. This tale shows that even when life changes from the stress of a military career to working next to a wedding planner, love always finds a way to begin, even if it was never thought possible.

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue, but an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs…

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime . . . until death do them part.


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AUTHOR BIOEmily March Author Image

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.


Excerpt

Chapter Two

Tucker was a sixth-generation Texan, small-town born and bred. Certain behaviors were stamped into his DNA. A real man tipped his hat to the ladies, opened doors for females of any age, and never, ever failed to stop and assist a woman in distress.

So, of course, he had to turn around.

That this particular woman in distress was a total smoke show dressed in fire-engine red only made playing the role of Texas gentleman that much sweeter. He wondered how she’d managed to find herself out here in the middle of nowhere, no car in sight, not a house anywhere around, and the closest town a good ten miles away. Unfortunately, hot looks and a bright mind didn’t always go together.

He pulled to a stop beside her and flipped up the visor of his helmet. His assessing stare met a wary gaze shining from big, periwinkle-blue eyes that were swollen and red-rimmed with tears. She had an abrasion on her cheek just above her chin. Had someone hit her? When his quick visual sweep of her body revealed additional redness on both of her arms, he reconsidered. Airbag deployment, most likely. “Do you need some help, ma’am?”

  He watched her intently and saw her quietly repeat the word ma’am. After a moment’s hesitation, she licked her lips, swallowed hard, and said, “Well, um, I, um. May I borrow your phone?”

Her voice was smooth as Tennessee whiskey with just enough Texas in her drawl to sound like home to ears too far away for too long. “Yes, ma’am.”

She took a small step backward as he set his kick- stand and climbed off his bike. She’s scared of me.

It was a perfectly natural reaction and showed some sense, but Tucker didn’t like scaring women, so when he pulled off his helmet, he was scowling. Her eyes widened, she took another step back, and he realized he’d made the situation worse. Well, hell.

He reached deep inside him for the charm that had grown rusty with disuse, made a stab at a reassuring smile, and addressed the elephant in the cotton field. “Don’t be scared. I won’t hurt you. I came back to see if I could help. That’s all. I give you my word, and a McBride’s word is his bond.”

“That’s so old-fashioned,” she said.

“Yes, well, that’s how we roll. Now, I’m going to reach into my pocket and pull out my phone.”

Her gaze dropped to his hand, and she gave a nervous little laugh. “No gun?”

“No gun.” That was in a different pocket.

Tucker unzipped his jacket and reached into an inner pouch for his phone while trying his best to look unthreatening. Their fingers brushed as he handed it over. Her fingernail color matched her dress.

“Thank you,” she said.

“You’re welcome. My name is Tucker.”

“I’m Gillian.” Her teeth tugged on her bottom lip as she stared at the phone. “Do you have Google maps? I need to send a pin of my location to my—”

  She broke off abruptly, and her head came up. Those glittering blue eyes—puffy and swollen from tears and framed by long, thick lashes—went round and big. Distracted, he fell into them. “Tucker Mc- Bride? Your name is Tucker McBride?”

He blinked and pulled slightly away. Now it was his turn to be wary. “Yes.”

She gave him a once-over, and some of the stiff- ness melted from her spine. “I know Jackson. Boone too. You’re the third cousin, aren’t you?”

Well, this was unexpected. “Yes, Boone and Jack- son are cousins of mine. Have we met?” He didn’t think so. He’d damned sure remember her.

“No.”

“I’m surprised you’d connect me to them. We’re a long way from Redemption.”

“Are we?” She gave a short, strained laugh. “I wouldn’t know. I’m lost. But you look just like them, and Tucker McBride is an unusual name. Plus, I re- member when the three of you arrived in Redemption the first time. You all rode motorcycles. My friend Maisy laughed that you had your own little McBride gang, so you were perfect for Ruin.”

Tucker grinned. “If you only knew.” He extended his hand toward her for a handshake. “Nice to meet you, Gillian . . . ?”

“Thacker. Gillian Thacker.” Her grip was firm, her smile filled with relief. “I’m a friend of Caroline Carruthers. Are you on your way to visit Redemption?”

Caroline was the woman Jackson was seeing, Tucker knew. He nodded. “Yes, I am. So now that you know I’m not a serial killer, want to tell me what you’re doing standing in a cotton field in a sundress and stilettos? Not exactly apparel for farming.”

She glanced down at her feet. “Technically, I’m not in the field but on the shoulder of a road. A narrow, two-lane, never-ending road. And no, cotton is not my thing. I’m all about satin and lace.”

Satin and lace? A vision of Gillian in lingerie the same shade of red as her dress flashed in Tucker’s mind as she continued, “I sell wedding gowns at a bridal shop in Redemption. Bliss Bridal Salon on Main Street.”

He tore his thoughts from the fantasy and listened when she began babbling about a pig and a pecan and a purse without a phone charger. When she finally wound down, she left Tucker shaking his head at her foolishness. He held up his hand. “Let me get this straight. You weren’t joking about being lost? You literally don’t know where you are?”

“No. Not exactly.” She lifted her chin, and her voice sharpened defensively. “I know I’m still in Central Texas. I’m somewhere between I-35 and I-45. I’m north of Austin. I think.”

He slowly shook his head. “Where is your car?

How far have you walked?”

“That way.” She hooked her thumb over her shoul- der. “Maybe two or three miles. I’ve been walking a while.”

“In those shoes?”

She gave a rueful smile.

Copyright © 2020 by Geralyn Dawson Williams.


BUY LINKS

Macmillan: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250314932

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250314932?AID=42121&PID=7992675&cjevent=0a0b322d393511ea828c00f10a24060e

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250314932?aff=macmillan

Powell’s: https://www.powells.com/book/eternity-springs-the-mcbrides-of-texas-tucker-9781250314932?partnerid=33241


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Author Website: https://emilymarch.com/

Macmillan Author Page: https://us.macmillan.com/author/emilymarch 


Blog Tour: Wild Wild Rake (Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor

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Wild Wild RakeWild, Wild Rake (Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor

Synopsis: Wild, Wild Rake, the next sweeping, emotional, witty, and sharp romance in the Cavensham Heiresses series from beloved author Janna MacGregor.

Her first marriage was an epic fail.

Lady Avalon Warwyk never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry—that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?

Devan Farris—charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian—is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with a vicar with a wild reputation—even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside—a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?


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Excerpt from Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

Avalon read the first line in the letter from her son’s guardian, Gavin Farris, the Earl of Larkton. By all appearances the words resembled something innocuous, purely designed to lull a person into thinking it contained real concern with a touch of whimsical affection.

My dearest lady, I do hope this finds you and your intrepid son well.

“Avalon, did you hear the news?” Seventeen, on the cusp of eighteen years of age, Avalon’s sister, Lady Sophia Cavensham, looked up from her embroidery and smiled. Her gaze darted to her friend Miss Penelope Rowley, the one and only niece of the wealthiest gentry landowner in the shire. Though she was two years older than Sophia, Penelope had become somewhat of a fixture at Warwyk Hall over the last six months since she’d moved to her aunt and uncle’s home. The two women were inseparable.

Penelope let out a dramatic sigh then collapsed in a swoon across the pink-and-gold brocade sofa. In the process, she kneed the table, upsetting the delicate pink china cup and saucer. “Oww.”

Avalon tried to ignore their chatter. The Earl of Larkton’s correspondence had increased in frequency over the last several months. The weekly letters were turning into biweekly posts. Each one wanted more and more control over the Warwyk estate and more decision-making control over her ten-year-old son, Thane Pearce, the Marquess of Warwyk. She doubled her concentration on the letter as she read the entire first paragraph.

The purpose of my correspondence is to inform you that I’ve appointed a new vicar for the village of Thistledown. The man comes with impeccable standing and experience. In addition, his educational training is second to none. He’s a protégé of Lord Bishop Marlowe.

“He’s extraordinary.” Sophia’s dreamlike whisper floated through the air like a dandelion seed.

“He’s . . . simply exquisite.” Penelope’s voice joined Sophia’s in a chorus of dazzled fascination.

My dear Marchioness, it’s my pleasure to announce that my brother—

Avalon swallowed the sudden onrush of bile that marched up her throat. It couldn’t be. Fate was not that hateful.

“Mr. Devan—” Sophia sighed.

“Farris.” Penelope finished the sentence and slowly drew her hand against her forehead as if saying his name caused her to faint.

“No. Not him.” Avalon murmured the words aloud. The sanctimonious prig had arrived to make her life a living hell. Avalon grimaced to keep from casting her accounts. Now she was just exaggerating like the girls. She wasn’t really physically sick, but the news could make a person ill. “When did he arrive in the village?”

Clueless as to how the news affected her older sister, Sophia scooted to the edge of the crimson-and-white striped club chair that sat adjacent to Avalon’s matching one. “Two days ago. Penelope and I just happened to be walking in front of the vicarage when we saw the Earl of Larkton’s coach arrive. The new vicar followed behind on horseback.”

Penelope nodded vigorously as if Sophia’s story needed affirmation.

Avalon wanted to roll her eyes. The two women “never just happen” to do anything. They orchestrated and connived everything from shopping to men. God save anyone who crossed their paths. If one of the girls took a shine to any of the ton’s marriageable men, then London’s finest would soon understand what it meant to be hunted. 

As the girls continued their chatter, Avalon devoted her full attention to the rest of the letter. Better to finish the horrid task, then take a long walk through her gardens. Though it was January and bitterly cold outside, a brisk hour of exercise would help Avalon clear some of her unease at the news that Mr. Devan Farris had invaded her village.

I’ve considered your request that the young marquess continue his studies at home, but at the age of ten, his interests would best be served by attending Eton sooner rather than later. That’s where boys turn into men. Your suggestion that he attend Harrow won’t do. His father had insisted that I promise he attend Eton. However, since his Latin skills are somewhat lacking, I’ve decided to hire my brother, Mr. Farris, to tutor him in the subject.

Her blood simmered at the words. The earl’s declaration was nothing more than gilding the lily. Everyone within fifty miles of London knew that Devan Farris sought to marry an heiress. Until he found one, the fortune-hunting vicar thought to use her son’s marquisate to pay double for his services. Since her son’s estate paid for the vicar’s wages, Mr. Farris would receive another wage from the coffers for tutoring lessons.

But what really brought her blood to boil was that the smug vicar would be nosing into her business, and that wouldn’t do at all. She and only she ruled the parish with a fair and impartial hand. No one, including Devan Farris, would upset her world.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of the Cavensham Heiresses series, which begins with The Bad Luck Bride. Janna credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs.


Buy this book:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250296016 

Author website:

https://www.jannamacgregor.com/ 

Author Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JannaMacGregor 

Author Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/JannaMacGregor/ 

Author Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/jannamacgregor/ 

SMP Romance Twitter:

@SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts

SMP Romance Website:

https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/ 

The Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch #3) by Caitlin Crews

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The Last Real CowboyThe Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch #3) by Caitlin Crews

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Synopsis: In Cold River, sometimes forbidden love is the sweetest of them all…

Perennial good girl Amanda Kittredge knows that her longtime crush on Brady Everett was never really supposed to go anywhere. But when Brady comes home to Cold River during Amanda’s first attempt at independence, well, who better to teach her about rebellion than her older brother’s bad-boy best friend?

Brady’s plans did not include being forced to work the family homestead for a year–and yet, here he is. And, to make matters worse, his best friend’s innocent little sister is making a menace of herself in the most grown-up, tempting ways. When Amanda begs Brady to teach her about men, he knows he should refuse. But could Brady’s greatest temptation be his salvation?

Review: It starts out a bit frustrating with how blind all the men around Amanda seem to be when it comes to her, and her wants and needs. I got quite annoyed at Brady when he kept treating her like a child who didn’t know any better or her own mind, but from the point at the barn that he tries to use as a goodbye gift to the end of the story, it becomes a sweet country, small-town romance that was enjoyable and sweet. The passion was good, not overly descriptive, but still enough to keep the pages steamy. Amanda was the best fit for Brady and when she stood up to his brothers for him, that was the best scene in the whole series, I think. Both of his brothers needed to be dressed down for how they treated him. I liked it. I think Hannah and Ty’s story might be my favorite out of all of them, but this one was enjoyable and entertaining.

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Dark Alpha’s Temptation (Reapers #9) by Donna Grant

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Dark Alpha's TemptationDark Alpha’s Temptation (Reapers #9) by Donna Grant

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Synopsis: There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

Carrying Death’s orders is my sole duty. I’ve never had reason to question her, even if I disagreed. But Kyra’s fierceness and willpower sheds light on my mission. She drives the darkness of my world away. The answers to the Others’ goals lie in her past. For Kyra, I will risk going against Death’s wishes. For her…I will battle the past and the future itself.

Review: I love a good DG book and how her series always merge and flow together is awesome. The Others have set their sights on The Reapers and I don’t think they truly understand the power they are up against. The battles to come are going to be epic. Dubham and Kyra worked so well together that I didn’t even realize I was half way through the book. Their story was passionate, entertaining, and the conflict between her and her mother added to the bigger conflict of the Others that keeps building. Such an easy and enjoyable read. I want more!!

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