Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan

Reviewed by Sara

The Duke Buys a Bride is an Historical Romance by author Sophie Jordan. The male main character and aforementioned Duke, is Marcus Weatherton the fifth Duke of Autenberry. While running away from his life in London to a long forgotten Scottish property, he comes across Alyse.

Alyse was raised by loving and educated parents. Unfortunately, due to their untimely demise, Alyse is auctioned as a wife to an older member of her village. She works as the housekeeper and care provider for his children until that man is ready for a “real” wife and arranges to auction Alyse. Alyse is frightened, but arranged with a childhood friend that he would buy her and they would leave for London. Unfortunately, Alyse’s friend never shows up and when Marcus first sets eyes on her, she is alone on the auction block at the mercy of the local townsmen. Marcus is immediately struck by Alyse’s bravery and places the winning bid. Marcus’ plan is to install Alyse as the housekeeper of his Scottish estate, but over the course of their journey and against the better judgement of both Marcus and Alyse, the two fall in love. [Read more…]

Review: Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire

Reviewed by Jen

I never felt completely ok with the resolution of Toby’s relationship with her daughter. A few books back, Gillian made the Changeling’s Choice and she opted to become fully human. Toby honored those wishes and stepped out of her child’s life. But now, Gillie has been kidnapped again, and human or not, she will never be someone who Toby could turn her back on. So our heroine must put past hurts aside to help her ex-fiance and his current wife find the girl they’d raised as their own.

Right away, we know this kidnapping has a connection to the Fae. There are hex bags in Gillie’s room and someone is leaving clues that count on Toby’s special skills to track her through false trails and traps. The story follows her efforts to figure out who snatched her daughter and bring the girl home, all while mending the relationship with Tybalt so badly damaged by his kidnapping in the last book. [Read more…]

Review: Exile of the Seas by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

When I tackled the first installment of this trilogy, I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it. All of the other books I’d read from Jeffe Kennedy were fantasy romance and Prisoner of the Crown was… not. It chronicled the Princess Jenna’s early life and descent into an hellacious marriage to a sadist who reveled in abusing her. Then it followed her as she made her escape and sailed away from the only life she ever knew. It was the first act of her story and it was very difficult to read.

This second act is something different altogether. It is Jenna’s journey as she reinvents herself and becomes stronger. It was extremely well-done and perhaps the best thing I have ever read by this author.

The book picks up right where the last one stopped, with Jenna on the ship, a bundle of fear and ignorance. Women in Dasnaria are purposely uneducated about the world, forced to stay in the little boxes where they’re kept. But then Jenna meets Kaja, a priestess of Danu, who changes everything. She teaches Jenna the most basic skills… how to understand the Common Tongue, how to count, and how to hold a knife. And she helps her adopt a new identity, a priestess with a new name –Iveriel— with vows of both silence and celibacy. [Read more…]

Review: An Earl Like You by Caroline Linden

Reviewed by Jen

Generally, the Big Secret trope is one of my least favorites, but I like Caroline Linden and I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I decided to give this book a try. I’m glad I did, because while the secret was, indeed, the driving plot device of the story, I thought it was well done and it didn’t prevent me from rooting for this couple to make things work.

Eliza is the daughter of a successful businessman. Her father is ruthless in his dealings, and as a result, he has more money than Croesus. But that money can’t buy his daughter’s way into the ton. Not that such a thing really matters to her. At the end of the day, she is happy with her friends, her home, and her beloved dog. She has no idea that her father has a plan in place to blackmail an earl into becoming her husband. [Read more…]

Review: Covet by Rosanna Leo

Reviewed by Debz

Dana Hamill is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Not only has she just been told that she is infertile, her fiancée and support system, Tommy Parker has just dumped her as well. His reasoning, he want biological children of his own and cannot continue the relationship. And this is doubly worse because he does this unceremonious dumping in the cafeteria of the hospital, immediately after the diagnosis. What a dickhead.

She meets Alex Markov, (unbeknownst to her) a hotel magnate and the new owner of the hottest hotel on the Vegas strip, Vice at a hole-in-the-wall bar in Vegas. Alex and Dana are both there to drown their sorrows in relative anonymity and darkness. They strike up a conversation, however, when Alex advices Dana not to get the white wine on the menu. As they continue talking, sexual tension builds up between them and they decide to let go of their pent emotions via a quickie in the bathroom. Dana regrets this instantly, and runs away hoping to never hear from the hot stranger Alex anymore. [Read more…]

Review: The Illegitimate Duke by Sophie Barnes

Reviewed by Jen

I have consistently enjoyed all three installments in the Diamonds in the Rough series. Each followed the love story of one of the Matthews siblings, a trio who grew up in poverty only to join the ton later in life.

The focus on this book is Juliette, the sister who struggled with her health as a child. More recently, she contracted a bout of the measles, which is how she got to know our hero, Florian. He is a serious and dedicated physician, and now he is also the unexpected heir to a dukedom.

The promise of nobility has made Florian irresistible to the ladies of high society. Only Juliette seems to see him as a man instead of a potential title. She is intelligent and selfless, and she actually seems interested in what he does for a living. She would be a perfect wife, if only he ever planned to marry. You see, Florian is hiding a devastating secret. He is actually a bastard and his true father is a criminal of the worst sort. Most people thought the man, Bartholomew, had been hanged for his various other crimes, but as this story begins, Florian learns the man is alive and well. He would never expose Juliette to the potential scandal or danger involved with becoming his wife. [Read more…]

Review: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Reviewed by Jen

I always look forward to reading a new book from Tessa Dare. They are always so witty and charming. This book was no exception, although I felt that the laughs were just a little fewer and further between.

Our heroine is Alex, friend to Emma, the last book’s heroine. We do not know a lot about her off the bat, except that she is interested in astronomy, she is an orphan, and she struggles to support herself. She first met Chase at a bookstore, although met may be too strong of a word. They bumped into each other and shared a bit of a moment… a moment she has spent the past several months fantasizing about in her head.

She doesn’t truly meet Chase until several months later when she shows up at his home, hoping to set his clocks. Imagine her disappointment to find the object of her affection is really a bit of libertine. He seems interested only in picking up women and shoving off responsibility for his two young wards. He doesn’t seem to recall their meeting in the bookstore in the slightest, and in fact, mistakes Alex for a possible governess and hires her on the spot. [Read more…]

Review: The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

Reviewed by Jen

Oh wow. If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you may remember my epic love for The Highwayman a few years back. This book is every bit as good as that one was. It gave me all the same feels. It was just as riveting. And it was the exact same brand of tortured hero catnip. Did it feel like a rehash? Absolutely not. It just recaptured the magic of that first book and I didn’t want to put it down from the first page to the last.

This is Rook’s story—and it’s not too much of a spoiler for fans of the series to reveal that Rook is actually Dorian Blackwell—the REAL Dorian Blackwell, whose identity Dougan Mackenzie co-opted in book 1. You don’t have to have read the prior books to appreciate the import of this, though I would recommend that you at least read The Highwayman. It’s not a hardship. I promise. Anyway, this nugget revealed in the very first chapter and you know immediately that his history is every bit as dark as Dougan’s was. After all, they were brothers-in-arms, facing the challenge of Newgate. Only, Dorian was supposedly killed while the bad-guys mistook him for Dougan. He was beaten and burned.

But he didn’t die. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

Ilona Andrews probably could have written Kate Daniels books for another 10 years and made a fortune. They are wildly successful and even after 10 books, fans love them every bit as much as they did years ago… if not more. I know I do. But that makes it all the more impressive that they decided to end this series on top. They finished Kate’s story and they did it in spectacular fashion, giving me everything I wanted and needed from an epic conclusion. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure they were under to satisfy their readers with Kate’s swan song, but somehow, they pulled it off with their trademark blend of humor, action, and heart.

There are so many things that make this book awesome, but the clearest front-runner is an adorable, fascinating, and powerful one year-old named Conlan Lennart. That’s right, Kate and Curran’s baby is born in the prologue and we scoot ahead in time a bit for the bulk of this book. It was a brilliant move, because Conlan has grown enough to feel like a real character here. He is clearly smart and extremely gifted with magic, but at the end of the day he is also a toddler that loves his mommy and daddy. And man, do they love him too. [Read more…]

Review: Diamond in the Rough by Jane Goodger

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve never read anything from Jane Goodger, including the two books before this one in the Brides of St. Ives series, but the premise of this story intrigued me enough that I wanted to give it a try. It’s a twist on a romance between a hero and heroine of different stations, which happens to be one of my favorite tropes.

Nathaniel is an impoverished Baron who is in search of a rare diamond his grandfather buried in St. Ives. The old man told him the story of the gem on his deathbed, but passed away before he could give more than the name of the property it was hidden. So Nathaniel decides to go undercover as a gardener at the home, hoping to find the lost rock and use it to put his lands back to rights.

Clara is one of the daughters who lives there. Her family is wealthy, though far from nobility. It’s her mother’s greatest wish for Clara to marry into the peerage, but even with all their money, it’s not very realistic. Blue bloods are so very disdainful of the lower class. Still, Clara tries to please her mother, even if in her heart, she wants nothing less than to surround herself with snobs. [Read more…]