Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan

The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan.
This is book 3 of The Brothers Sinister series.

Violet Waterfield, the Countess of Cambury and Sebastian Malheur has been friends since they were children. They would do anything for each other, including fooling the ton into believing that the work Sebastian is doing in genetics is his work when in fact it is really Violet's.

Unfortunately, Sebastian is done living a life that is a lie. He can't pretend that the work he presents is his any longer. When he tells Violet how he feels, they end up in a heated argument that leave both of them hurt.

Weeks later they come together for a friend's wedding and both apologize. Soon Sebastian confesses that he is in love with Violet, a fact that she finds hard to believe. Should she admit that she thinks she feels the same way?

Violet hold back her feels as she truly doesn't believe that Sebastian's feelings are true. She has been hurt in the past and doesn't not trust that she will not be hurt by his feeling when he realizes they are just a passing fancy.

Will Sebastian's love for Violet win her over? Will Violet let her guard down to have the love she deserves?

I've been waiting for Violet and Sebastian's story since I read The Duchess War. All through the rest of the series, you can see bits and pieces of the love they feel for each other. Their story did not disappoint. 

Violet is so broken from her relationships with her deceased husband and her mother and father that it is no wonder that she has put walls up to protect herself. Once Sebastian confesses his love for her, my heart just kept breaking for both of them. Violet tries so hard to overcome her resistance to be loved and Sebastian is so patient with her.  When Violet finally accepts Sebastian's love and stands up for herself I found myself cheering out loud.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. I was so emotionally involved with the characters, that it felt like my heart was breaking at each of the disappointments they went through. Although you could read this as a stand alone novel, you'll get much more out of it having read the rest of the books in the series.

You can get this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, All Romance e-books and iBook.

Thanks go out to NetGalley and Courtney Milan for a free copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Duke's Match Girl by Lila DiPasqua

The Duke's Match Girl by Lila DiPasqua.

This is book 4.5 in her Fiery Tales series and is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl.

Seven years ago, Leopold d'Ermart, the Duke of Mont-Marly broke Suzanne Matchet's heart and she has done her best to forget him. But suddenly he is back and doing everything he can to win her heart.

Leo and Suzanne grew up the best of friends, but one Christmas Eve everything changed.  They had one magical night and then Leo crushed that dream. Unfortunately, Leo knew that he was already pledged to wed another. He didn't want her to be heartbroken when he left, so he tried to make her hate him.

Seven years have passed and suddenly Leo is back in Suzanne's life.  He has always been in love with his childhood friend and now that he is free, nothing will stop him from having her. 

Leo has sent his man of business to see if Suzanne will come and make perfume for his sisters as a Christmas gift. She turned down his offer, so he goes to her. 

Even in person, Leo can not convince Suzanne to travel back to her childhood home for the Christmas season. He proceeds to use all his wealth and power to try and convince her to come back with him.

Will Leo be able to convince Suzanne to come back home with him? Will Suzanne risk her heart to be with the love of her life again?

This was a great novella. I often feel cheated at the end of a novella because things progress way too fast to be realistic or there is not enough depth to the story. That was not true for this story. DiPasqua has a talent for telling a detailed story in a short amount of words. This is the first book that I have read by this author and it will definitely not be my last. I can't wait to go back and read the other books in her Fiery Tales series.

You can get this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Much Ado About Dutton by Claudia Dain

Much Ado About Dutton by Claudia Dain.
It is part of the More Courtesan Chronicles series which comes after the Courtesan Chronicles series.

Two years ago, Lord Dutton made it clear to widow Anne Warren that he wanted her.  Unfortunately, Dutton only decided this after learning that Anne's mother had been a courtesan and she made it clear that she didn't want anything to do with him and soon marries a proper gentleman.  Dutton drowns his sorrows in a liquor bottle.

Two years have passed and Dutton is sober and Anne is a widow again.  Dutton is determined to get Anne into his bed where Anne is now willing to be, but on her terms.  Will they be able to agree to the terms of their relationship?

After getting any book from NetGalley, I go to the author page to see if it is a part of a series. After seeing how closely related these books were, I made my way through the series to get ready for this book. Some books in a series can be read on their own without any confusion of the story line. I don't believe that this is case with this series.  The whole series (except this one which jumps ahead 2 yrs.) takes place in about 4 weeks of time. There are so many different characters in the series, that had I not read all of the previous books, I would have been thoroughly confused (even having read them all, it was at times confusing to keep all the characters straight in my head).

Having said all of that, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and this particular story. The series follows Lady Dalby (Sophia), a former courtesan, who plays matchmaker throughout the course of the books. Most of the characters show up throughout the whole series, so we are able to see glimpses of their lives too. 

We are introduced to  Lord Dutton and Anne Warren in the first book (The Courtesan's Daughter) and their story carries on throughout the rest of the series coming to a conclusion with this one.  We know from reading the other books that Anne is attracted to Dutton, but needs to make a good marriage because of her background. After her husband dies, she knows that she can now go to Dutton on an even playing field. She is no longer the daughter of a courtesan, but Lady Staverton. Anne turns the tables on Dutton and makes him dance to her tune. 

Thank goodness this series is continuing. The next book in the series is Taming Miss Grey which is about Sophia's niece. There is a scene in Much Ado About Dutton that leads us to the stories of the Ardenzy twins. You can find there stories HERE on Amazon (only $0.99). I'll be reading those tonight!

I've given this story a four out of five only for the fact that is was really hard to keep everyone straight in my mind.  I LOVE this series, but it would have been a bit more enjoyable had I not had to keep so many characters straight in my head!

You can purchase this book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Thanks go out to NetGalley and Aspendawn Books for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cynders and Ashe by Elizabeth Boyle

 Cynders & Ashe by Elizabeth Boyle.

This is a short story (less than 10,000 words) that was originally published in The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance.

Five years ago, Ella Cynders was the companion to a young lady bent on following her heart. While her employer was eloping, Ella had to stand in her place at the masked ball where Viscount Ashe was looking for a wife.

While there, Ella and the Viscount find a passion that is unforgettable. Unfortunately, Ella is forced to leave the ball before the unmasking.

Viscount Ashe has spend the last five years looking for the love of his life. If he doesn't find her, he will have to choose another.  Will he find her at this year's ball?

Ella finally has a way to get into the Ashe ball again. Will she find the man who stole her heart?

For such a short story, it was a good read. Although this is a typical Cinderella story, Boyle has put a nice twist to it. I would have loved more to the story, but knew it would be short going into it.

You can get this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Caroline and the Duke by Sabrina Darby

Caroline and the Duke by Sabrina Darby.

Caroline, Lady Ballister has decided to take a lover at the urging of her best friend.  Caroline had an unhappy marriage and doesn't want any emotional attachments.

She chooses the Duke of Sutbridge, who happens to be the man that she fell in love with 10 years ago. Unfortunately for Caroline, Sutbridge wants marriage. He has been regretting his lose of her since she married.

Who will win this battle of wills? Can Caroline tear down her walls to take the love that Sutbridge is offering?

I really enjoyed this short story. The author was able to convey the story and not have it feel rushed (it helped that the h&h had a previous and ongoing relationship). I hope that the author continues to write historical romances as I will definitely be a buyer!

You can get this book at Amazon.

Thanks go to NetGalley and Sabrina Darby for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Rake's Redemption by Sherrill Bodine

The Rake's Redemption by Sherrill Bodine.

I don't believe it is part of a series, but I did find 2 other books that had characters from this one.

Juliana Grenville is determined to get her brother to go to London for the season. She wants him to enjoy himself since she feels that all he does is work on the estate. 

Julianna and her aunt come up with a plan. They tell Juliana's brother that she is ready to find a husband (she is a widow) and he will follow her to town.

On the trip to town, Juliana and her aunt are in a carriage accident. Dominic, the Marquis of Aubrey, comes to their rescue. He takes them to the nearest inn to have their carriage fixed. He feels an attraction to Juliana and decides to extend his stay at the inn to get to know her better.

Just as the two of them are getting to know each other, Dominic learns who Juliana's husband was. Juliana's husband had talked about her during his time in the army and Dominic had fallen in love with her by those stories alone. But learning who she is means that he is not good enough for her.

Juliana is hurt by Dominic's sudden change of heart and doesn't know what she did that made his attitude toward her change. Can Juliana break through this bearer that Dominic has put up so that each of them my find the love of their lives?
I really loved the story line, but the writing seemed to be amateurish at times.  This is a republished edition, so maybe this was one of the author's earlier pieces of work although I would have though they would do some editing before republishing.

As stated above, I did really enjoy the storyline.  I always love when the author makes the secondary characters so lovable that you want to hear their stories too. Bodine has done this. Juliana's aunt had me laughing out loud at her comments and the secondary love story was an added bonus.  I will definitely be reading the other two stories with related characters in them. It appears that Bodine no longer writes historical romance, which is a shame because I would have liked to read her current work.

You can get this book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thanks go to NetGalley and Diversion Books for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review. 

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Woman Entangled by Cecilia Grant

A Woman Entangled by Cecilia Grant.

This is book 3 in the Blackshear Family series.

Kate Westbrook's family has been snubbed by the ton ever since her father's marriage an actress.  Kate feels that if she can just marry the right man, one with lord in front of their name, she will make life easier on her sisters. 

Kate finally has the opportunity to find that husband when her friend Nick Blackshear keeps popping up. Kate's father has asked Nick to keep on eye on Kate when she goes out to each evening's entertainment.

Nick would do anything for Mr. Westbrook, even watch over the women that scorned him three years ago. Nick acts like his torch for Kate is gone, but spending more time with her just shows him that it isn't.

Because of a scandal with Nick's brother, he must marry into a family with no blemishes. Kate want to help her family finally find acceptance.  Can they put aside their wishes to find the desire in both of their hearts?

I really enjoyed this story.  Kate and Nick had developed a friendship (other than his initial declaration at the start of it) before trying to make it more.  They had more to build their relationship upon that the normal physical attraction that you find in books.  I don't know if there are going to be more books in the series, but I'd really love to see the story of Louise and Lord Barclay as well as the stories of Kate's sisters.

You can get this book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

The Rogue's Proposal by Jennifer Haymore

The Rogue's Proposal by Jennifer Haymore.

This is book 2 in the House of Trent series.

Lord Lukas Hawkins is hunting for his missing mother. His information has led him to hunt for Roger Morton. Emma Anderson is also hunting for Roger Morton. She believes that he has stolen all of her family's money and killed her husband.

Emma proposes that they hunt for Morton together. She has more knowledge of the man, so Lukas agrees.  Their journey takes them across England and Emma soon realizes that there is more to Lukas than his reputation as a rogue.

The hunt for Morton brings them back to London where things escalate with the search and between Emma and Lukas.  Can Emma get over her fear of Lukas being like her dead husband and will Lukas believe that he is good enough for Emma?

After meeting Lukas in The Duchess Hunt, I was really looking forward to his story.  In the previous story, all we saw was an angry man who lashed out at everyone and we didn't know why.  As this story unravels, we learn the reasons why Lukas acts as he does. He needed a strong woman to convience him that he was worth her love and his family's love. Emma was the perfect woman for him. 

The secondary characters in the story (the Hawkins family) just draw you in and I can't wait for the rest of the books in the series. Next up is the story of older brother, Sam. The Scoundrel's Seduction will be out on May 27, 2014.

You can purchase this book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thanks go to Jennifer Haymore for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore

The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore.

This is book one in the House of Trent Series.

Sarah Osborne has been in love with Simon Hawkins, the duke of Trent, since she met him. Being the gardener's daughter, Sarah knows that nothing could ever come from it.

A forbidden kiss leaves Simon wanting more, but his strict moral code keeps him from pressing Sarah for more. When the Duchess of Trent goes missing, Sarah is promoted to lady's companion. Simon wants someone to help his sister while they are in London investigating his mother's disappearance.

Simon knows that it is time to get married and produce the needed heir, but he can't stop thinking about Sarah. Unfortunately, he needs the proper bride and soon becomes betrothed.

Between the blackmail, the missing Duchess and all the secrets being kept, will Simon and Sarah find happiness?

I LOVED this book.  Simon tried so hard to keep his family from scandal, but it seemed to just come knocking at his door. I loved that he finally did something for himself and not to save the family name.  I found myself laughing out loud and loving every minute of the love story.  I have definitely fallen in love with the Trent family and can't wait for the remaining stories in the series.  Next in line is Lukas, the family bad boy! I can't wait to see who tames him.

You can get this book at Amazon,  Barnes and Noble,  iBooks, and Kobo.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gentlemen Prefer Mischief by Emily Greenwood

Gentlemen Prefer Mischief by Emily Greenwood.

This is book 2 in the Mischief series.

Lily Teagarden has got to do something about the mysterious lights that keep showing up in the local woods as it is interfering with her business. When she finds out that her neighbor, Viscount Roxham, is finally home she goes to him for help.

Roxham is intrigued by the woman that Lily has become. He knew that Lily had a crush on him when she was younger and at one point had taken her journal. He uses this to to tease Lily out of her seriousness.

Roxham agrees to help Lily solve the mystery. When she finds out who the fiend is, a friend in need, she sabotages Roxham's efforts.  He then retaliates by telling Lily that he will return the journal for the identity of the fiend.

The mischief that Lily instigates intrigues Roxham and he uses his rakish ways to seduce her. Will they find the love that both of them secretly want?

I fell in love with Roxham during Greenwood's first novel, A Little Night Mischief and couldn't wait to see how his story unfolded. The banter between Roxham and Lily had me laughing out loud. Lily did so many things to keep Roxham from finding out who the fiend was that I couldn't wait to she what she would do next.  I like that Greenwood makes you fall in love with the secondary characters in her stories and keeps you wanting more.  Her next book features the Earl of Ivorwood.  I do hope that Roxham's sister gets her own story too!

You can get this book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wicked Little Secrets by Susanna Ives

Wicked Little Secrets by Susanna Ives.

Vivienne Taylor is engaged to be married. She is sure that by marrying John Vandergrift that she will finally win the approval of her family and save them from ruin. Her father's business will not survive if she doesn't marry John and he will be thrown in debtors prison.

Vivienne's long time friend, Viscount Dashiell, has finally come home. Unfortunately, her intended doesn't want her to have anything to do with the Viscount because he is has a horrible reputation. She promises that she will not have anything to do with him.

Vivienne tries to keep her promise of keeping her distance from Dashiell, but when she believes that her beloved aunt is being blackmailed she turns to her friend for help.

Dashiell, of course, agrees to help Vivienne. He would do anything for her. Vivienne has has a place in his heart since she was a little child.  Now that she has grown up, he can't get her out of his mind. He has to keep reminding himself that she in engaged and that he is no good for her.

While investigating the supposed blackmail, they learn that there is much more going on. Between all the secrets that they uncover, can Vivienne and Dashiell discover the truth and find true love?

I really LOVED this book.  Vivienne is not the typical Victorian woman, but tries so hard to please the man she is engaged to. Lucky for us, she does not succeed. Vivienne and Dashiell's antics were hilarious!  I loved the chemistry between the two. They had the bond of friendship forged from so many years of knowing each other and that showed up in how they related to each other and how they just "clicked".  One of the best parts of the book was the conversations held between Dashiell and his grandfather. I was actually laughing out loud during those scenes. I will definitely be checking out this author's other book, Rakes and Radishes. I hope that it is as good as this one. I can't wait to see what this author come up with next!

You can find this book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thanks go to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Twice the Temptation by Beverley Kendall

Twice the Temptation by Beverley Kendall.

This is book 1 in the Temptresses series (which branched off of the Elusive Lords series).

Catherine Rutherford has been attracted to Lucas Beaumont since they met. Just when she thinks things might be progressing, he goes back to his home in America.

After only hearing from him once in the year Lucas was gone, Catherine is surprised to learn that he has marriage on his mind upon his return to England.

Lucas couldn't get Catherine out of his mind while he was at home and returned as soon as he could to convince her to marry him. All was going well until Catherine learns that Lucas once proposed to her sister, her twin sister.

Catherine believes that Lucas only wants her because he couldn't have her sister. Can he convience her that it she that he wants?

We are introduced to Catherine and Lucas during the Elusive Lards series and I was eagerly awaiting their story. I was not disappointed.  I fell in love with Lucas in the earlier stories and grew to love him even more in this one. I love that Catherine and her friends were actively trying to help out other women to make sure that they would not be marrying a cheater. The banter between the girls was hysterical.  My hope is that the next book in the series is one of Catherine's friends so we can continue to enjoy their friendship.

You can get this book at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Thanks go to NetGalley and Season Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Devil in my Arms by Samantha Kane

Devil in my Arms by Samantha Kane.

This is book 3 in her Saint's Devils series.

Eleanor Enderby is on the run from her tyrant of a husband. After three months of hiding, she is making her way to the sister she hasn't seen in many years.

Just as she is about to make it to the safely of her sister's home, she encounters Sir Hilary St. John. Is he one of her husband's hirelings that will take her back to him?

She soon learns that Hilary is one of her brother in law's best friends and that he had been sent out in search of her.  Hilary is instantly intrigued by Eleanor, but must travel out of town on a mission.

Six months pass and Eleanor's husband has declared her dead and is remarried with a child on the way. Believing her self to be safe, she ventures into the ton under a fake name.

Of course, she encounters Hilary again and neither one of them can fight their attraction to one another. They soon embark on an affair that is unfortunately talked about in the gossip columns. Can they risk the safety of Eleanor by continuing their affair?

I absolutely LOVED this story!  We met Hilary earlier in the series and I loved his being pair up with Eleanor, they were perfect for each other. The banter and wit shared between them had me laughing out loud. I really hope that this series continues because I would love to keep revisiting the characters!

You can get this book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thanks go to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lost in a Royal Kiss by Vanessa Kelly

Lost in a Royal Kiss by Vanessa Kelly.

This is a novella that introduces the Renegade Royals series.

Linnet St. Clare spends all her time taking care of her siblings while her widowed mother works for the Queen. Even with all that on her plate, she comes to the rescue of Dominic. Dominic has gotten himself into a little bit of trouble and the only person that Linnet thinks can help him is Sir Anthony Tait.

Sir Anthony has been trying to get Linnet's attention for months, but she is always running away from him.  He quickly agrees to help Dominic with his problem and then needs to solve his own....how to capture the attention of Linnet.

Linnet has been fascinated by Anthony for some time, but doesn't think that she has anything to offer him. For fear of getting her heart broken, she has distanced herself from him.

Can these two help Dominic with his problem and talk to each other long enough to tell the other how they feel about the other?

This was a very enjoyable read. For such a short story, the chemistry between the characters didn't seem rushed as it often does in novellas.  This was a nice introduction to the series and I can't wait to read the rest of the books as they get published.

You can get this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.

Thanks go to NetGalley and Kensington Books for a copy of the book for an honest review.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Cheer in Charming an Earl by Emma Locke

The Cheer in Charming an Earl by Emma Locke.

This is book 3.5 in the Naughty Girls series.

Elinor Conley is determined that she will not remain a spinster and has decided that Earl of Chelford is her perfect mate. It doesn't matter that she has only gotten a glimpse of him once in her life. She concocts a plan to get to meet him and have him decide that she would be the perfect wife.

The Earl of Chelford, Grantham Wendell,  is having his annual bacchanalia when a carriage crashes into his kitchen. Innocent Elinor Conley entrances him from the beginning.

How will Grantham feel when he finds out that Elinor set out to catch him as a husband?

I didn't particularly care for this short story. For the lead to just catch sight of the man and decide that he was the man for her is a little far fetched. I know that it is a novella, but there are many authors that do a very good just within the confines of a novella.  I will give this author another chance and read one of her full length novels. I'm hoping that with the longer format, the romance of the characters will be a little more believable.

You can this this story as part of an anthology at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thanks go to NetGalley and Intrepid Reads for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Highland Master by Hannah Howell

Highland Master by Hannah Howell.

This is book 19 in the Murray Family series.

Lady Triona McKee's life has not quite turned out as she pictured it. After an illness killed half of her clan, including her husband the laird, Triona is dealing with a neighbor that wants her land and using the excuse that a woman shouldn't be laird.

Triona's cousin (Arianna from Highland Avenger) has run from her husband after hearing some unsettling news. With her comes some of her kinsmen including Sir Brett Murray.

There is an instant attraction between Triona and Brett, but neither is looking for romance and try to ignore it.

Brett and his companions can tell that something is not right in the household.  The only people around are women, children and very old men.  A fire is started in one of the fields and Triona can not withhold the truth any longer.  She needs help keeping her neighbor from trying to get her land.

Brett has pledged to help Triona by staying on with his men even after Arianna might go home.  As the two of them spend time together a friendship develops. They both soon realize that it is quickly becoming more than that. Triona is not about to be under the control of another man now that she has tasted the freedom of becoming laird and Brett is haunted by a past love.  Can they overcome these obstacles to find love with one another?

I am a huge fan of Hannah Howell and have read the whole Murray series.  Once again, she does not disappoint.  As with most of her stories, you get to visit old friends and in this case it was Arianna and Brian from Highland Avenger.

I really liked that Triona and Brett were able to develop a friendship before they become lovers. That is not often done in romance stories.  There was also an added element of mystery that kept me reading. I didn't want to put the book down because I wanted the mystery solved! I'm always laughing out loud when I read one of Hannah's books. I LOVE the banter between her characters.  Even if you haven't read the other books in the series, you will still enjoy it immensely. 

You can get this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kensington

Thanks go to NetGalley and Kensington for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex

The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex.

This was book 3.5 in her Reckless Brides series.

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a bride and he will take just about anyone. In a rash moment, he told his father he was already married and now he needs to make it true. Ian runs into a shipmate and tells him what he is looking for in a wife - shy, undemanding and someone who will not mind his going off to sea.  This shipmate just happens to have an unmarried daughter that fits Ian's needs. They arrange for Ian's perspective bride to come for a visit.

When Anne Lesley arrives, Ian hardly even notices her. Later in the day, Anne overhears Ian talking about her (let's just say it wasn't nice) and decides to go for a walk.  Ian joins her and they begin to get to know each other. Anne quickly gets over her shyness and Ian sees the potential that she has as a bride.

Ian's father arrives and they must hide the fact that they are not married yet. They quickly fall in love and rush to get married with a special license.

This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth Essex. I did like her style of writing and found myself laughing at some of the antics in the story (which is always good), but I really didn't care for the story itself.  Anne was way too forgiving of Ian and the things she overheard him say. It would have taken a lot longer for him to worm his way into my heart!  I've looked at the other books in the series and they look like they have promise. I will probably see if my library has copies of them to give this author a second chance. 

I probably would have given this book 2 stars, but I really enjoyed the character of Pinky!  He saved the book in my opinion.

You can find this book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thanks go to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.