Monday, January 27, 2014

Perks of Being a Beauty by Manda Collins

Perks of Being a Beauty by Manda Collins.

This is book 3.5 in the Ugly Ducklings series.

Miss Amelia Snow's place in society has taken a turn for the worse. She was once adored by the gentlemen of the ton and welcomed into the ton's ballrooms. That all changed when her mother passed away and she had to become the companion to a wealthy cit's daughter. Now she down plays her looks and her outspokenness so that she doesn't lose her job.

Lord Quentin Fortescue is surprised to see his childhood friend acting as companion to his host's daughter. Amelia broke his heart years ago when she turned down his proposal of marriage. Unfortunately, Quentin still holds a torch for her. Will he get burnt again?

Since Quentin's arrival changes the number of people in the party, Amelia is forced to participate in the house party activities to even things out. During the course of the party she is thrown together with Quentin, much to the chagrin of Harriet's mother who seems to delight in putting Amelia down every chance she gets. Will the time spent together rekindle the love that they once shared?

When I saw that this was part of a series, I had to read the other books before reading this one.  I fell in love with the "Ugly Ducklings" and couldn't imagine that I would like reading about their arch nemesis.

At the end of How to Entice an Earl (book 3), we see the cousins have forgiven Amelia as she truly seems to have remorse about what she has done to them.  During the course of this book we get some background information about Amelia and can see why she might have acted the way she did. You can definitely see the change in her personality when she with Harriet. There are some snarky women at the party and Amelia knows just what to say to them since they are acting just the way she use to .  

I was pleasantly surprised that Collins was able to get me to actually like Amelia by the end of the story. By telling us Amelia's backstory, we are able to empathize with her and understand why she acted the way she did. This was a wonderful story of redemption and second chances!

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

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When the Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries

When the Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries.

This is book two in the Duke's Men series.

Victor Cale has been looking for his jewel thief wife for ten years and he might have finally found her.  Victor has gone to Manton's Investigations and the first job they give him, has him looking into a woman that sounds remarkable like his wife.

The first day in Scotland, Victor is "introduced" to his wife, but instead of being frightened when she sees him she looks furious! How can that be when she is the one that ran away from him?

After being abandoned by her husband, Isabella has finally made a life for herself and her daughter. She can't believe that it has taken 10 years for her husband to finally come back for her. She even took his mother's maiden name to make it easier for him to locate her. 

Victor believes that Isabella only married him to get to the jewels that were stolen and then ran off without him. Isabella believes that she was abandoned by her husband after he took his share of the stolen diamonds and has only come to find her because the money has run out.

Will the two of them finally figure out what truly happened? Will the real thieves be caught? Will this husband and wife find their way back into each other's arms?

This story starts out just after the marriage of Victor and Isabella and you can see that both of them have such high hopes for each other and their marriage.  We then jump ahead 10 years and we see that both of them have suffered for what they thought happened back then. They both have misconceptions about the other and as they try to figure out what really happened, you see the two of them falling in love again.  The mystery of 10 years ago plus another suitor, an unwanted guest, a kidnapping and a theft make this a great read.  

At the end of the novel, we see some foreshadowing of the next story in the series. How the Scoundrel Seduces will be out in August. I can't wait to read it!

You can get this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Books A Million, and iBooks.

Thanks go to Edelweiss and Pocket Books for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Kisses She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

Kisses She Wrote by Katharine Ashe.

This novella is book 1.5 in the Prince Catchers series.

Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire is forever scribbling in her journal, but it's not until she meets Cam Westfield, the Earl of Bedwyr that things get interesting.

Just like all the ladies that meet Earl of Bedwyr, Jacqueline has developed a crush. She is a very shy girl and whenever she is in the presence of him she can barely speak get two words out of her mouth. 

But that is not the case inside her journal and in her dreams. She writes about a romance that she can only hope to have in her dreams. She lives out her fantasies about her and Cam.

Unfortunately for Jacqueline, Cam finds her journal and reads those fantasies. Cam is inspired to get to know Jacqueline better and get back to the poetry he once wrote. As Cam tries to get Jacqueline to open up, she thrives on the attention and comes out of her shell.

Both are being pressured by their families to marry and not to each other. Can they overcome these obstacles to find their happily ever after with each other?

I really enjoyed this novella. During a time when you did what your family required of you, it was nice to see two people go after what they wanted in life (especially a princess!).  Ashe does a wonderful job of telling a compelling story in such few words! I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

You can get this book at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Barnes & Noble.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Kiss of Lies by Bronwen Evans

A Kiss of Lies by Bronwen Evans.

This is book one in the Disgraced Lords series. You can find a short prequel to this story, HERE, on the author's website.

Christian Trent, the Earl of Markham, has been run out of England after being wrongly accused of a rape. In Canada, he suddenly finds himself the guardian of a young girl.  Hoping to go back to England to clear his name, he need a governess for his young charge.

Sarah Cooper, running from an abusive marriage, disguises herself as a governess in hopes of finding a way out of the country and away from the men that are hunting her.  When she sees the notice that the Earl has placed, she felt that someone was finally on her side. She has had a crush of the Earl of Markham since before she had her coming out and hopes that he is still the kind man she remembers.
Disfigured from his time in the army, Christian is surprised when Sarah shows no disgust when seeing the damage to his face. For this reason, he agrees to hire her if his ward also like her.

The attraction between Christian and Sarah is almost instantaneous. He can't stop thinking about her, but he doesn't know that she has come from a bad marriage and doesn't want to push too hard. He puts his renown seducing skills to work and Sarah quickly succumbs. 

Finally making it back to England, Christian and Sarah work hard to solve both of their problems.

I don't want to give away too many more details of the plot and ruin the story so I'm stopping here with my summary.  

I LOVED this story!! 

Christian and Sarah are so broken from what they have been through that it took someone that was equally broken to get them to see their worth.  It really showed what type of man Christian was when he allowed Sarah to come to him and set the pace of their relationship. Not that he didn't try his hardest to seduce her into it, but it was ultimately Sarah's decision.

This is the first book that I have read from this author and I know it will not be my last.  I love series books and this one does not disappoint. We were able to meet most of the members of the Libertine Scholars and they have already intrigued me! An added bonus is the mystery that appears to connect to the whole group. The author is genius to include this. How can you not finish the series to find out the how the mystery is solved?? I know I will be coming back for each installment!

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

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

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Scandalously Yours by Cara Elliot

Scandalously Yours by Cara Elliot.

This is book one in the Hellions of High Street series.

Olivia Sloane is know as the Hellion of High Street. She doesn't have a problem speaking her mind, which doesn't sit well with the rest of the ton. She would much rather sit at home and write her column than go to the nightly balls.

John, the Earl of Wrexham, has recently resigned his commission and can't stand spending time with all the frivolous people in the ton. He would rather spend his time working on his speech for the House of Lords. He also doesn't need to attend the ton parties to find a wife (which his sister would like him to do) because he has found a perfectly acceptable woman back at home to court. Unfortunately, John's son, Prescott (Scottie) doesn't seem to get along with her.

John and Olivia meet one night in a secluded room, where each of them has gone to get away from the mindless drivel of the ton. They are both instantly intrigued by the other and soon learn that they have much in common.

Both having an interest in the returning soldiers, they decide to work together on John's speech. Unfortunately, the other lords want John on their side of the argument and threaten retribution if he doesn't side with them. One of them kidnaps John's son, which leads John and Olivia on a different kind of adventure.  

I absolutely LOVED this story!  Olivia is not your conventional regency woman. She is not afraid to show that she has more than dress patterns in her head.  I loved that she was not afraid to be herself even when it didn't make her very popular with the rest of the ton. The interactions between Olivia and John were priceless!  The banter between them was very entertaining. It was also nice to see a couple become friends because of mutual interests instead of just acting upon a physical attraction (although there was still plenty of that!)

One of the best parts of the novel was the interactions between the Sloane sisters. None of them are your typical "miss". There were so many times that I was laughing out loud while reading this, which is always a plus in my book!

John's son, Scottie, was also a hoot!  Between writing an ad for the paper looking for a mother and then his attempt to go to London, you never knew what he would be up to next.

The next book in the series is about Anna Sloane and "Devil" Davenport. We meet both of them in this novel and I can't wait to read their story.  You could definitely see the attraction between the two of them and hints of secrets that Davenport is hiding. It is scheduled to be published in Feb. 2014.

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

Thanks go to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Publishing) for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard by Vanessa Kelly

The Secrets of Seducing a Royal Bodyguard by Vanessa Kelly.

This is book one of the Renegade Royals series. You can read about the preview novella, Lost in a Royal Kiss, HERE.

Lady Vivien Shaw has been kidnapped and it is the job of Aden St. George to rescue her. Unfortunately, his job doesn't end there. Since they don't know who is behind the kidnapping, Aden must go into society to protect Vivien until they find the culprit. But Aden hasn't been mingling with the ton in over 10 years, ever since he started working as a spy for the British government.

Vivien is grateful for the help that Aden provides, but as he spends more and more time with her he comes closer to discovering her secrets (who might be behind the kidnapping and why). Those secrets could jeopardize members of her family.

Aden hates going to ton parties and mingling with a group of people that made his mother's life miserable after her affair with the Prince Regent and his subsequent birth. But he has a job to do, one that is getting harder and harder to do when he knows that Vivien is keeping things from him.

Eventually, Vivien's secrets come out and Aden takes them into hiding to protect her, while others are finding evidence to convict the kidnapper. While in hiding Vivien and Aden become much closer. But Aden is convienced that he doesn't deserve the love of someone like Vivien. Can she convience him otherwise? Will the kidnapper be brought to justice?

I really enjoyed this book.  I loved the banter between Vivien and Aden.  Their attraction started from their first meeting and just sizzled throughout the whole book. I loved seeing what type of man Dominic had become as well as a quick peak at Linnet and Anthony (from Lost in a Royal Kiss)

The only thing that felt was lacking was more information about the relationship between Aden and his mother. The story talks about how they had such a close relationship when he was little and how all that changed. I would have loved to have read a scene in which they have a heart to heart and his mother explains why she suddenly stopped being the loving and caring mother he had started growing up with.

We are introduced to Griffin Steele (cousin to Aden), whom is the hero of the next book in the series titled Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom.  I've already fallen in love with him and can't wait to read his story which is expected to come out on April 1, 2014 (happy birthday to me!!)

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

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

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One Rogue Too Many by Samantha Grace

One Rogue Too Many by Samantha Grace.

This is book one in the Rival Rogues series, but it also is tied to her Beau Monde Bachelor series.

Lady Gabrielle has been in love with Anthony Keaton, the Earl of Ellis practically her whole life.  She believes that they will finally have a chance to get together, but Anthony hasn't made it back to town when he said he would. With her family pressuring her to wed, Gabrielle looks else where.

Anthony is so excited to be back in town and ready to get is betrothal to Gabrielle settled. Unfortunately, as soon as he arrives in town he hears that Baron Sebastian Thorne is courting her.  Having competed against Thorne for most of his life, Anthony thinks that his pursuit of Gabrielle is just a game to him. It's not a game to Thorne. He needs that reputation boost that marriage to Gabrielle will give him to get his sister accepted in society.  

Both men are are determined to win Gabrielle's hand in marriage. Will Gabrielle choose the man she has loved for most of her life or the man that won't break her heart over and over again?

I felt so bad for Anthony when he found out that Gabrielle had not waited for him and that his rival was competing for her hand. When you learn the back story to how how Anthony and Gabrielle's relationship has progresses, you understand why Gabrielle felt that she needed to go on with her life and accept the attentions of another man.

I liked the added aspect of the rivalry between Anthony and Thorne. The wagers that were placed and the bantering between the two added humor to the story. I can't wait to read Thorne's story to learn his background and what made him into the man that he became.  

The twists and turns of the story kept me riveted to see what would come next. This is the first book that I have read by Samantha Grace and it definitely won't be my last. I have put all of the Beau Monde Bachelor stories on my TBR pile. I'm so glad to have found a new author to read!

You can get 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.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Temptation of Lady Serena by Ella Quinn.

The Temptation of Lady Serena by Ella Quinn.

This is book 3 in The Marriage Game series.

Lady Serena Weir must go to London for her first Season. Her brother has finally returned home and has a new bride.  Having lived a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Serena is a little out of her depth. Luckily, she has her aunt and cousin to guide her along.

Robert, Viscount Beaumont, is determined not to marry for love after a disastrous first love.  Unfortunately for him, he is captivated by Serena at first glance and she will only marry for love.

Knowing this, Robert compromises Serena forcing her to accept his suit. What he doesn't know is that their friends and family will side with Serena to get him to see the error of his ways.

Can Robert get Serena to marry him without his love or will Serena convience Robert that what he feels for is love?

I had such high hopes for this story! I'd gotten to know Robert in the other two stories in the series and was looking forward to seeing him have his HEA. Unfortunately, the writing was awful.  It was so hard for me to get through this novel.  I mentioned in my review of The Secret Life of Anna Marsh that some of the writing was off and hoped that with each novel it would improve.  Unfortunately, with each novel the writing seems to be regressing.  I will say that the writing in the second half of the book did get better, but I had to keep pushing myself to get through the first half.

Having said all that, I did enjoy the story line. Quinn added a bit of a mystery to the novel as well as a second love story. We were also able to visit the characters from the previous two books and have a peek into their lives. As hard as it was for me to get through is book, I do look forward to the next story in the series. There is a preview at the end of the book to wet your appetite. 

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

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