Review: Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James

Reviewed by Jen

Though I enjoyed the romance in the first book of this series, it was almost overshadowed by my interest in the secondary couple, the hero’s brother and his betrothed. So I was more than excited to start this book and read their full story.

North, heir to the Dukedom, and Diana were engaged in book one, but it seemed that she was far less enamored of the match than he was. In fact, she ran away and jilted him before that book was done. It ended with him finding her hidden away in a cottage with a crying baby. All signs pointed to her having given birth, but we learn quickly that the child actually was a bastard born of her deceased sister. Diana refuses to let the baby grow up in an orphanage, so she has taken responsibility for him.

Anyway, North disappears for a while and goes off to fight in the American revolution. When he returns, he discovers that she is now living in his family home, raising the baby and acting as a governess to his niece. Society believes the child she brought with her is his. But rather than lashing out, he is surprisingly magnanimous. It’s sets the stage for us to see his true character. [Read more…]

Review: How to Forget a Duke by Vivienne Lorret

Reviewed by Jen

I have read a few different books from Vivienne Lorret now, and I have enjoyed them enough that I did not hesitate to pick this one up. It follows the story of a professional matchmaker who inadvertently falls in love with the man who has hired her.

That premise could’ve made it very trite. So too could the second major trope thrown in. The heroine gets amnesia. Though that is an eye-roller for some folks, it did not bother me here. I did have a few issues, but that wasn’t one of them.

I guess, for me, my biggest complaint is that I was slow to warm up to these characters. Jacinda, our matchmaker, is hell-bent on proving Rydsrom, the titular Duke, is hiding something. She dresses up like a maid to invade his private space and she tries to sneak in to his country home as well. She comes across as immature and, well, like a bit of a wrecking ball. It was kind of a blessing when she forgot who she was. [Read more…]

Review: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

This last novella in the Dragos & Pia POV reminded me quickly of why I fell in love with the Elder Races in the first place. It’s been an age since the last time we had a full length book featuring these two, but Thea Harrison has given us a half dozen novellas over the years to keep us in the loop with their relationship and growing family. With this story, they are visiting Las Vegas to see Rune and Carling get married. Pia is very pregnant with baby number two –and everything goes to hell when someone with an axe to grind with Dragos kidnaps her to hurt him.

The book isn’t very long and I don’t want to spoil the particulars, but I will say that I really enjoyed returning to this world and these characters. Dragos is so fascinating to me. He’s the alpha among alphas, so much of a dragon, even when he’s wearing his human skin. Yet his love for Pia shapes him. He worships her; he would burn the world for her, and more to the point, he could. It’s awesome. I love Pia, too. She has her own brand of strength. Though her husband has been around for thousands of years, and she is less than 30, she has a lot to teach him about other ways to see life and the world. And the best part is that he listens. [Read more…]

Review: The Highlander’s Crusader Bride by Cathy & DD MacRae

Reviewed by Ronelle

Half-Armenian, half-Scot Arbela MacLean is a true daughter of the desert, a princess born in the Holy Land only a few years after the Third Crusade. Determined not to be as helpless as her mother was, she’s forsaken the gentler, feminine pursuits of women her age for Turkish bow and arrow, a sword, and throwing darts. She is a warrior who fears nothing—except perhaps the day a husband is chosen for her. That day becomes much too close for comfort when her father is recalled to Scotland to take up leadership of clan MacLean.

Caelen MacKern, known as the Bull of the Highlands, has no use for a wife. His first marriage formed an alliance, and he did not grieve when his spoiled, immature bride passed away not long after giving birth to their only son, Bram. But after a devastating pestilence nearly wiped them out, clan MacKern is in desperate need of help. Against his better judgement, Caelen agrees to an offer he can’t in good conscience refuse; convince Arbela to marry him and receive the men, means, and coin he needs to rebuild. Considering the tone of their initial encounter, it doesn’t entirely surprise him when the exotic, outspoken lass has some terms of her own. [Read more…]

Review: Revival by S Usher Evans

Reviewed by Jen

I’m still reeling a bit from the ending on this one, folks. I don’t know if it counts completely as a cliffhanger, but it definitely pulled the rug out from under me and left me anxious to see what happens next.

This story picks up right on the heels of Resurgence, and if you haven’t read that one, go back now and pick it up. You don’t want to jump in to the action in progress. As we begin, demon-hunter Jack has gone on the run with (sort-of) reformed demon Anya, on a mission to understand the curse that has forced her path to redemption. There is a bit of an info dump recapping the events of book one, but it doesn’t last too long and may be a good refresher if it’s been a while since you read that installment. [Read more…]

Review: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Jen

Let me be honest. When I started this book I had absolutely no recollection of the first installment in the series. I wasn’t even sure if I had read it until I went back and looked on Goodreads. No wonder I had forgotten. It’s been three years since Courtney Milan wrote the beginning of this series. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember of have even read that book in order to jump right into this one.

This is an interracial historical romance, which is a bit of a rarity. But one of the things I like best about it was how low key the race element was. Yes, the hero and heroine are of different ethnicities, but this love story isn’t about their race. It was about love and acceptance. About choosing someone to love and who chooses to love you in return. [Read more…]

Review: Loving the Secret Billionaire by Adriana Anders

Reviewed by Sara

I became a huge fan of Adriana Anders last year after reading her Blank Canvas series, a dark and moody romance trilogy. So, I was very excited to see that she was publishing more books and then I saw the title. The title, Loving the Secret Billionaire, is the kind of title that usually has me automatically passing a book up. I’m tired of billionaires; they’ve literally and figuratively been done to death, and I don’t like secrets, but I took a chance on this novel and was thankfully pleasantly surprised.

Loving the Secret Billionaire is a beefed up and fleshed out revision of Adriana Anders’ novelette of the same name that was published in the Rogue Desire anthology (January 2018). The novel follows preschool teacher Veronica Cruz as she campaigns for city council against a sketchy, good ol’ boy opponent. Veronica is from a poor family, she takes the bus to campaign events because she can’t afford a car and she believes in helping people, saving lunch programs and keeping libraries open. She doesn’t espouse any particular party but it’s clear she leans left in her politics. I found her to be a truly lovely character, not preachy, but passionate and I wanted to see her get both the city council seat and her man. [Read more…]

Review: Not Until You Part 1: Not Until You Dare by Roni Loren

Reviewed by Shelly

I’ve had this in my Kindle for too long, embarrassingly long. It’s a very short read, actually only 75% of the pages told the story, the rest were promos for other stories, and from start to finish took me less than an hour to read.  Even short, it still took me over a couple of days because I just couldn’t get into the characters.  This is part 1 of 8 in Roni Loren’s ‘Love on the Edge’ series.

This is basically an introduction to roommates – Ian and Pike and their neighbor, through the thin apartment walls, Cela. All three live have lived in the same apartment complex for over a year so there’s some sense of familiarity. [Read more…]

Review: Burning Up by Jennifer Blackwood

Reviewed by Jaimie

Burning Up is the first book in the Flirting with Fire series by Jennifer Blackwood. This was my first experience with Ms. Blackwood’s work and I am so glad I gave this one a shot! The book was sweet and predictable, but well written and really enjoyable.

Erin Jenkins is an unemployed school teacher who lost her job due to budget cuts. She has returned to her hometown for the first time in ten years and that was definitely not in her life plan. Erin’s mother is thrilled that her daughter is back in town and she is doing her best to convince her to make it permanent. Just when she’s not sure she can cope with being back in town, she runs in to her older brother’s best friend – the guy she’s always carried a torch for. Suddenly the summer starts to look up! [Read more…]

Review: The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor

Reviewed by Jen

This is my first read from Janna MacGregor. It’s the third in her Cavensham Heiresses series but it holds up easily as a standalone. It has an engaging premise and the writing is good. Despite a few–ok, one–thing that bothered me, I enjoyed it overall.

March’s parents died when she was just 17, leaving her to care for her three younger siblings. Her parents were of the nobility and there was plenty of money to keep them comfortable, but the man responsible for dispersing that money failed at the job. For years, she had to scrape and scratch to make ends meet. By the time she hit her 25th birthday, she was due her inheritance. But the latest trustee for the funds has been essentially ignoring her. In desperation, she begins forging his name to disburse funds from her own account to pay for necessities. [Read more…]