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Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies by Shana Galen & Theresa Romain

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen, Theresa Romain

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain 

 

I'd describe this duo as one of those that give you an AWWWW! feeling and that feeling stays with you long after you put the book down. Both stories are about second chances. 

The Way to A Gentleman's Heart by Theresa Romain stars Marianne, a lady of society-turned cook, and James, a man with plenty to regret but willing to make amends and hoping for forgiveness. I always find this author’s stories kind of hard to understand in the sense that I don’t connect with the characters right away. At first I thought James had hurt Marianne too much and grueling for the rest of his life wouldn’t be enough to deserve forgiveness, however once Marianne’s musing put their relationship in a different light and she realized he was a worthy man I too realized just as much. 

Counterfeit Scandal by Shana Galen intertwines characters from No Earls Allowed, book 2 in her The Survivors series but you don’t need to read that book first in order to read this one. Bridget and Caleb were forced to part ways at a moment when Bridget needed him the most. Fast forward several years later and Caleb seems to be the only one to help her find what she once lost but loves the most. I liked this story a lot. The author was able to pack plenty of character development, emotions, action, and redemption in only a few pages. The fact that Caleb was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Bridget was kind of the cherry on top. 

I think this set perfectly represents what each author is about so if anyone's thought about trying something by either one I encourage you to give these novellas a go. 

I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

How to Tempt a Rogue Without Really Trying: Heart of an Heiress (Regency Hearts Book 4) by Ava Stone

How to Tempt a Rogue Without Really Trying: Heart of an Heiress (Regency Hearts Book 4) - Ava Stone

Sweet, cute story with plenty of light moments and interesting characters. 
Cait is a strong-willed woman but not to the point of being annoying, and that is something I like in heroines. She has trust issues when it comes to men, mainly because one broke her heart not long ago but also because she’s tired of being treated like a witless person just for being a woman. I liked the way Daniel treated her from the beginning. He had an easygoing personality that didn’t clash with Cait’s strong one. If anything, I think they brought out the best in each other and complemented each other flawlessly. The one thing I didn’t like about Daniel, and as usual this is a personal preference, is that I like my rogues to be more roguish in action and not so much in description. He spent too much time smiling wolfishly and winking wickedly but other than that he wasn’t much of a rogue. That being said, I liked how they took their time to know each other and how the pace of the relationship felt real. I was glad that even though there was an instant attraction, neither one of them rushed into anything. As a side note, there are no graphic intimate scenes in case you were wondering. Just a peck here and there and some harmless flirtation, nothing more. 

Other characters helped moved the story along but to be honest, there were times there was too much going on and I felt I needed to read the other books (which I haven’t read yet) to understand better what was going on. Thankfully, that was later remedied when all knots were tied, so I think I can safely say this can be read as a standalone. 

I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher

Funny and interesting approach to a less stressed life

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson 

 

Overall this was good "read" (I listened to the audiobook.) I listened to it during  my daily commute and I could only imagine the looks from other drivers as I was laughing half the time. Contrary to its title, the book does help you understand why you should give plenty of f*cks but only for the right reasons. 

 

 

 

I may not have agreed with everything the author said but for the most part I found this book enjoyable. He makes some pretty good points about the kind of life we want and the kind of life we are living. So, go on ahead and give some f*ucks, just don't use them up all at once. 

 

 

 

Killer Secrets by Katie Reus

Killer Secrets - Katie Reus

Killer Secrets - Katie Reus 

 

Fast paced romantic suspense with lots of action. Eve and Mack have been "friends" for most of their times but it takes Eve's life to be in danger for Mack to make a move. For such a short read this one packed a punch. The villain  was definitely the least person that came to mind. I think it focused more on the suspense aspect and lack a little on the character development but it was still a good story to pass the time.  

A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides #9) by Valerie Bowman

A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

 

Fun, sexy, intriguing romp. I enjoyed Mark and Nichole’s relationship immensely. I specially loved their banter and how they were supposedly keeping each other at arm’s length. From the start I was intrigued as to how they would end up together when there appeared to be such animosity between them but in the end I was happy on how it was handled.

Mark’s relationship with his family plays in important role here. His desire to be the new Home Secretary derived from the fact that he wanted to make a name for himself without having to rely on them. That same estrangement makes him calculating and distrustful, particularly of members of the “ton.” But what one wants and what life wants out of one are two completely different things and he’s going to have to learn to make peace with his life if he wants a future with his independent, intelligent, self-reliant wife, Nichole. 

The suspense part helps the story move along but I thought we got stuck too much on it at times. That being said, I liked how it’s that same subplot that helped Mark understand Nichole better and learn to accept her for what she is. The reason they were apart for so long was pretty much pride and selfishness so to see the two grow from petty, zealous young lovers to discerning adults made for an enjoyable read. 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**
 

Rogue Be A Lady (Must Love Rogues Book 6) by Eva Devon

Rogue Be A Lady - Eva Devon

Rogue Be A Lady (Must Love Rogues Book 6) - Eva Devon 


Emmaline is a well known actress in the continent ready to debut in London, ready to show all those people that condemned her without cause that she’s a survivor, and ready to show the man that cause her demise she is better off without him. 
Edward cannot forgive himself for what he did to Emmaline. He knows she is what she is because of his twisted views on propriety and perfection. His family has tried to make amends but will she ever forgive him?
Sixth book in the series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. Even though it was a short read it still was satisfyingly romantic. The chemistry between Edward and Emmaline was palpable and their way to their HEA believable. While I would have loved it if the path to their HEA was longer, all in all it was a good read and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series and more from this author. 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

Yippee Ki Yay!

A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic - Doogie Horner, JJ Harrison

Searching for books for one of those crazy yet awesome Litsy exchanges I came accross this book: A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic - Doogie Horner,JJ Harrison

 

 

 

How on earth did I not realize this book was available? Not only I'm a sucker for illustrated books but Die Hard is my favorite Holiday movie. Christmas in July is finally happening! 

 

Oh, and if you don't think Die Hard is a Holiday movie, you are wrong... 

Lord of Secrets (Rogues to Riches #5) by Erica Ridley

Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley

Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley 

Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley 

~3.5 stars ~

As an heir to a barony, Heath knows he must choose the right woman to marry. She’ll have to be a proper lady of a good family, and will never, ever give motive for scandal or gossip. So what if he’s not in love with the lady, right?

Heath in a way reminded of Mr. Darcy although not as brooding or surly. Honor bound to a fault, his first priority was always his family and his duty to the title. As the problem-solver of the ton, he considered his responsibility to keep his peers out of the gossip columns and pursue those that dared taint their “good” name. This attitude of him grated me because how could anyone be so honorable yet try to cover up other people’s mistakes. To me that was hypocritical. Fortunately, love outweighed any preconceived notions of honor and he found his true calling.
Nora had a secret of her own that if uncovered it could not only ruin her but also ruin her chances at love. I thought she was sweet, smart, and witty however I could totally see why she didn’t think highly of herself. It made me a happy reader when Heath saw past all of her shortcomings and focused on what mattered most. Their romance was engaging and slow-burning with the right amount of tension which made it feel believable.

Although there weren’t any tug-at-your-heart moments it was definitely enjoyable and a good continuation to the series. I recommend this series to anyone that likes endearing yet complex characters, funny moments, and good romance. 

Thanks to Negalley for providing a copy of this story for review.

ARC review: The Risk of Rogues (The Sinful Suitors, #5.5) by Sabrina Jeffries

The Risk of Rogues - Sabrina Jeffries

The Risk of Rogues - Sabrina Jeffries 

Release date: July 2nd, 2018

 

Last installment in the series, this second chance story was entertaining and sweet. Anne and Hart were young and very much in love when they decided to take the next step. Unfortunately life happened and they had to part ways before that came to fruition. Now that they’ve met again and Anne’s circumstances are different, it’s up to Hart to prove to her he’s the man she deserves and not just the woman he needs. 
To tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting such a short read as the last of the series but even so it was still enjoyable. I particularly liked the fact that both Anne and Hart were well-defined characters and I as a reader was able to connect with them and understand their struggles. Although more than struggles it was a tangle of misunderstandings and misinformation that was preventing them to reach their HEA. I don’t want to give anything away but I had an issue with Hart though. In his attempt to regain Anne’s love, he was willing to trap her into marriage by seducing her. That might be something we see a lot in historicals because it actually tended to happen quite often but it still sounds wrong in my book, historical or not. I know, I know, I’m too modern for my own good but that’s the way I prefer my stories, or not, as is the case here. Overall a good read that most people will be able to tackle in one evening. 
As a side note, that cover is so pretty and I think it’s the perfection depiction of our heroine. I just loved it! 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

Audiobook review: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, narrated by author.

Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher

Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher 

 

I'm not much of a fan of memoirs or autobiographies but you know, Carrie Fisher. Parts melodramatic, parts hysterical. Overall it was an ok way to past the time. 

ARC review: An Affair with a Spare (The Survivors #3) by Shana Galen

An Affair with a Spare - Shana Galen

An Affair with a Spare - Shana Galen 

Release date: July 3rd, 2018

 

This third installment in the Survivors series showcases the Seducer. Rafe Beaumont’s role in Lt. Colonel Draven’s regiment in the war was nothing like the other soldiers'. Just as dangerous, but not quite as heroic, at least not in his eyes. Now that the war is over and everyone is trying to live a more or less tranquil life, Rafe feels the chance to prove himself as a true hero is still yet to come. However when Draven pretty much orders him to reprise the role of the Seducer, he assumes he’s never going to have that chance. Not quite so my dear Rafe. 

Rafe was such an endearing, amusing character. His easygoing attitude and somewhat sad past was easy to understand. It was pretty obvious why all the women wanted a piece of the beefcake that was Rafe. Collette on the other hand was not as well-defined. She was too innocent to be doing what she was set out to do and I honestly didn’t understand why anyone would consider her for that kind of work. Although when it came to Rafe she was pretty set on what she wanted from him and that sort of redeemed her in my eyes. 

The Survivors that we’ve met in past books make a reappearance here but don't play quite the important a role I would have liked. I didn’t get why Rafe didn’t enlist the help of his friends in a more proactive way in order to achieve his goals. It just seems it would have made his life much easier. Another thing I didn’t enjoy much was the fact that it felt the book was two stories in one. The way it started and the way it changed course in the middle didn’t mesh well. In the end Rafe gets to prove his worth not only to his Lieutenant but also to the woman he loved (in a most romantic way) so I was happy by the time I finished. 

Overall a good read but I think Ewan’s story (first book, Third Son’s a Charm) is still my favorite. 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

It's All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James #3) by Amelia Grey

It's All About The Duke - Amelia Grey

To begin I’ll say this, I know there are people out there that will enjoy this book. I know there are people that will overlook lots of description, lengthy conversations, and characters that feel rather flat in lieu of a good story line. As for me, I don’t think I’ll read another book by this author.


My main problem with the story was that the pace was extremely slow. Four chapters in and the first scene was still going on. Four chapters of the same! The setting wasn’t too bad but I’m not a person that enjoys descriptive detail of every single nuance. Again, others may, I don’t. 


As far as the characters, perhaps because the pace was so slow I didn’t feel the chemistry between Rath (the Duke of Rathburne) and Marlena. I also found her annoying and not as smart as she was supposed to be. The main storyline revolved around some letters that the Rakes of St. James sent to a few unsuspecting debutantes, causing them to lose all marital prospects. One of the affected ladies was Marlena’s friend so she decided to get back at the rakes by going after them anonymously through her scandal sheet. My issue with that was that she pretty much set out to do the very thing she was upset about to begin with. I just couldn’t reconcile the idea of a smart and compassionate woman being gossipy and having no regards for all the people she was affecting with her actions. It just didn’t make sense and I didn’t think age was a free-pass to act that way (she was “young” when she started the scandal sheets). )As far as Rath, I though he took things in stride, especially when he found out Marlena’s secret, but other than that I found his rakish ways lackluster. 


I’m sitting here wondering if I would have enjoyed this book better if it hadn’t been redundant but as it is, all I can say the idea was there but it never really panned out, at least not for me. 

Review copy provided by Netgalley. This is my honest opinion and in no way influenced by anyone.
 

THE PRINCE (Devil's Duke #4) by Katharine Ashe

The Prince (Devil's Duke) - Katharine Ashe

Generally speaking, I usually pass on books where a woman disguises herself as a man in order to achieve her goals because most of the time they are so fantastically far-fetched that I end up with headaches from rolling my eyes in disbelief so much. Not here, not with Libby. She was such a unique woman to begin with that pretending to be anything but a woman of the ton wasn’t hard to believe. She was both endearing and sensual and her oddities make her a refreshing, different character, setting her apart from other bluestockings. As a matter of fact, Libby is on a whole other level of heroine archetype all by herself. 
Ziyaeddin became captivated by Elizabeth when they first met so when she asked for his help he knew there would be trouble ahead. In spite of their obvious attraction, he tries to keep their relationship as distant as possible, not only because he knows his future is yet to be determined but because he knows of her dreams and doesn’t want to be in the way of them (if that’s not sexy I don’t know what is.) All that sexual tension was just as frustrating for the characters as it was for me as a reader! Yet what I loved the most about his character was that his always cool demeanor was able to reel Libby’s mind back in from the chaos it sometimes was proving once more that a man doesn’t have to be dominant or possessive to be the perfect hero. 

Secondary characters were a true delight. They all added that perfect touch of variety to keep the story moving, and the fact that both Libby and Ziyaeddin had overcome many of their initial fears made the story even more memorable. And that epilogue! I don’t think I’ve ever read one full of so many emotions and feelings. With a heart-melting, enthralling storyline; complex and larger-than-life characters; and the perfect history backdrop this book is for sure an instant re-read. 

 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**

 

The Prince (Devil's Duke) - Katharine Ashe 

 

Get your copy here: 
Amazon https://amzn.to/2ryyvRM 
B&N http://bit.ly/2vJMgSS
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Kobo http://bit.ly/2wF2tpr
More www.katharineashe.com/The-Prince

What is it?!

Bad Bachelor - Stefanie London

So I'm a few chapters in of Bad Bachelor and for some reason, and although I like where the story is going so far, something is rubbing me the wrong way. I cannot point my finger on what exactly it is but there is something that keeps me from loving it. It's obviously important because I'm writing about it and yet...

 

 

Ugh! It's driving me nuts not being able to identify the real issue I'm having with it! 

 

 

 

Tiger Striped (Shifters Unbound #11.5) by Jennifer Ashley

Tiger Striped -  Jennifer Ashley

Tiger Striped - Jennifer Ashley 

 

I love coming back to this world! Tiger and Carly had their own full-length novel in Tiger Magic and this is just a snippet of what life has been like for Tiger. When Tiger receives a distress call from heaven-knows-where, he and Carly (and the always fun Connor Morrisey) rush to help. 
In just a few pages we get to enjoy Carly and Tiger’s strong love bond at work, a high-speed chase, human-shifter interaction, and of course the promise of more to come. And that twist at the end was just perfect! I totally recommend it whether you’re new to the series or a long-time fan.

Innocent Target (Redemption Harbor #4) by Katie Reus

Innocent Target - Katie Reus

Innocent Target - Katie Reus 

 

Hadley has just moved to Redemption Harbor. She’s just getting to know her wealthy father and brother and although she loves them to death, they can be a little overprotective at times. Good thing too because now that someone is threatening her, her brother Brooks and the rest of the Redemption Harbor Consulting team will do anything to protect her.

 

Just like the rest of the series, this book packs a fast-paced, full of action, edge-of-your-seat plot that was hard to put down. The first chapter was both shocking and amazing and it was everything I want in a romantic suspense. It pulled me right in and from that moment I knew this was going to be a terrific story.

Hadley and Axel relationship is sweet yet it doesn’t lack passion. Their attraction is palpable from the instance they meet and doesn’t falter, even when she discovers his true identity.

 

Romance and suspense aside, the best part of the story was the people protecting Hadly, specially Skye, whom we got to meet in the first book in the series. She is a bad-a$$ woman through and through and one of my favorite characters ever. If the book was great, Sky and his loving husband Colt making a big appearance made it even better.

 

Redemption Harbor series as a whole will leave you wanting more and this book in particular will show you what you’re missing out on if you haven’t started it yet. 

 

** I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. **

Challenge Participant Professional Reader