Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath

28523597
Series: Hellions of Havisham Book #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 389
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere.

Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print... and takes his father’s place!

Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.


Review

Seriously, why are Lorraine Heath's books so perfect? She has a truly magical way with words. And I'm always in awe when I finish one of her books.

I was instantly  hooked by the characters and their story. Portia was an intriguing heroine. I don't want to spoil anything, but she's unconventional in the best possible way. And Locke is a truly caring man. His father was a great bonus, too. He is a great father and has so much love in him. There aren't many dad's like that especially especially in a historical.

The romance was executed perfectly. But that's normal for a Lorraine Heath book. It's like a well-choreographed dance. Portia and Locke slowly open their minds and hearts to each other. You can tell how much they value each other as a partner. I'm happy for the opportunity to spend time with all of these characters.

Thanks for reading!
Holly


Review

Seriously, why are Lorraine Heath's books so perfect? She has a truly magical way with words. And I'm always in awe when I finish one of her books.

I was instantly  hooked by the characters and their story. Portia was an intriguing heroine. I don't want to spoil anything, but she's unconventional in the best possible way. And Locke is a truly caring man. His father was a great bonus, too. He is a great father and has so much love in him. There aren't many dad's like that especially especially in a historical.

The romance was executed perfectly. But that's normal for a Lorraine Heath book. It's like a well-choreographed dance. Portia and Locke slowly open their minds and hearts to each other. You can tell how much they value each other as a partner. I'm happy for the opportunity to spend time with all of these characters.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

18052985
Series: Castles Ever After Book #1
Format: ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?


No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.


Review
 
What a beautiful and fantastical read. It really feels like a fairy tale kind of story. And it was so easy to read. There's a certain magic in Tessa Dare's writing.

Izzy is perfectly craftted. She is this odd but expertly blended personality of believing in love and jaded by fairy tales. She could've easily come across as niave, but she is really just a caring person.

Ransom was equally great. Naturally, I love him because he's physically scarred. His vision issues were handled well and not as a handicap while being historically accurate. He also had a wonderul growth story.

The romance really showed what love can do. Those are some of my favorite stories. Izzy and Ransom had great chemistry but it didn't overpower them a characters.

Originally, I gave this four stars, but I'm changing it to five. I can't think of any reason to give it a lower-rating. I loved the Spindle Cove Series, but I think this is my favorite Tessa Dare book yet.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath

26029545
Series: Hellions of Havisham Book #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 376
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.


Review

The whole concept of this book is pretty ridiculous. I kept questioning how this would work out. But of course Ms. Heath did a fantastic job. She's the kind of author who can handle more complex situations like this.

It's no surprise, but I love these characters. Julia is a beautifully complex heroine. She struggles with her grief and conflicting emotions between two bothers. And Edward is one of my favorite heroes ever now. At first he seems like he may be a traditional reformed rake, but he's so much more. He has so much love for the people in his life and htat guides what he does. He is probably the most selfless character I've ever read about.

The romance is quite the roller coaster which is expected based on the premise. And it's nice to read about a couple who really thinks about what it means to be together. So many couples just jump in blind. The ending/resolution was a little rushed, but that doesn't bother me too much.

Then, there's the epilogue. I feel like I'm missing something. But I also feel like the next book might explain away that confusion.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Fire in You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

20980797
Series: Wait For You Book #6
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 378
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Gift for Christmas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.


Review

Starting reviews is like the hardest thing in the world for me. But you gotta start somewhere.

After I started reading this, I realized I never read the synopsis. Going in I knew this was about Brock and Jillian, but that's it. And I'm kind of happy about that. I think that made me enjoy it more.

Now, at it's core, this is an unrequited love story which I'm not a fan of. Overall, I enjoyed their story, but I still don't fully buy it. I don't believe in these kinds of lover stories so it doens't really have to do with the writing. It probably doesn't help that Brock is her boss. He never pressured her, but the potential power-dynamic issues are always in the back of my  mind.

Jillian was a good character and narrator. She's a pretty typically JLA heroine-loves to read, pop culture references, etc. That doesn't bother me at all. And she has a great support-system of family and friends.

Speaking of friends, it was great to see all the couples from the earlier books. A lot of time has passed so things have changed. And Katie. I still want more about her, but after this one I feel like I never will get that.

The first book in this weries is still my favorite, but the rest are enjoyable. This felt a lot like a closing of the series, but I don't know if it is. If you do let me know.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

25056216
Series: Hudson Valley Bok #2
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Gift for Christmas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is...cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be...love?


Review

I read this very quickly-like most Alice Clayton books. It was also funny and pretty light and fluffy.

Natalie was a typical Clayton heroine. She is outgoing, confident, and sexual. So, I don't have a lot in common with her, but can still appreciate her. She's also a bigger girl at size 18. That definitely isn't something you see often especially in a sexually-bold woman.

The romance is a very physical one. Maybe too physical. I like sexual chemistry as much as the next person, but I need emotional connections, too. I actually started to skim the sex scenes because they felt so unnecessary. But it was really nice when Natalie and Oscar would have an actual conversation.

As usual with first-person romance I would've liked a look into Oscar's perspective on things.

This series reminds me  a lot of Sarina Bowen's True North series. It's definitely more fluffy, but similar. I actually was getting the two settings confused. While I enjoyed them both, I like the Sarina Bowen books more.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: Reunion by Meg Cabot

199785
Series: Mediator Book #3
Format: Paperback
Pages: 289
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Gift from family
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

The RLS Angels are out for blood, and only Suze can stop them - since she's the only one who can see them. The four ghostly teenagers died in a terrible car accident, for which they blame Suze's classmate Michael... and they'll stop at nothing until he's joined them in the realm of the dead.

As Suze desperately fends off each attempt on Michael's life, she finds she can relate to the Angels' fury. Because their deaths turn out not to have been accidental at all. And their killer is only too willing to strike again.


Review

I remembered exactly nothing about this book. That actually made it kind of suspenseful and let me get in the mystery. That doesn't always happen with a re-read.

Suze still has a good amount of humor, but there was a more serious tone to this book. The stakes were certainly higher and more life or death Suze also had to deal with some moral dilemmas. I love seeing her challenge that way.

Jesse is becoming more of a fully fledged character. He doesn't show up a lot, but when he does he is a presence. And you know I love me some Jesse.

I read most of this in a day. That's one of the reasons I love these books so much. They are fast-paced and really hook you. The plan is to read the fourth book next month.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

30166573
Series: The Ravenels Book #3
Format: Mass Market Paper Back
Pages: 366
Rating: 4.5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...


Review

Yet again Lisa Kleypas proves why she's one of my favorite. Her books are just full of magic that captivates me. The absolutely adorable Evie and Sebastian scenes don't hurt.

Pandora was fantastic. She's quirky, but fully formed character. As someone who can be easily distracted, I get her. She's also a very strong personality who never loses who she is. Gabriel is beautiful. He's sweet and understanding. Although there were hints of "dark" parts of his personality that never really went anywhere. It's actually the only thing that stopped me from giving thsi five stars.

The romance was great. They had really fun chemistry and banter. I personally love reading about characters strengthen each other. It makes them better characters and couple. This was also a nice take on the marriage of convenience story.

Ms. Kleypas included some historical elements that added an extra layer. There were things surrounding women's rights and marriage. Then, the parts about medicine and science. Especially since this brought Dr. Gibson back in. I read her book is next which is great. I want to know more aobut the mysterious doctor and hopefully the mysterious Detective Ransom. There has to be more to that story.

Thanks for reading!
Holly