Monthly Archives: July 2017

Release Day Recap – Releases Between July 18, 2017 and July 25, 2017

A Dance with Seduction (A Spy in the Ton, #1)A Dance With Seduction by Alyssa Alexander

Barbara’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: A Spy In The Ton #3
Publication Date: 07/24/17

See Our Review Here


Too Scot to Handle (Windham Brides, #2)Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Windham Brides #2
Publication Date: 7/25/17

See Our Review Here


Lord of Night (Rogues to Riches, #3)Lord of Night by Erica Ridley

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release Date: 07/22/17
Series: Rogues to Riches, #3

See Our Review Here


Never Kiss a HighlanderNever Kiss a Highlander by Michele Sinclair

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Series: The McTiernay’s, #6

See Our Review Here


A Diamond for a DukeA Diamond for a Duke by Collette Cameron

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Release Date: July 24, 2017 (tentative)

Series: Seductive Scoundrels, #1

See Our Review Here


The Importance of Being ScandalousThe Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell

Tracy’s rating: 2 of 5 stars

Series: The Tale of Two Sisters, #1
Release Date: July 25, 2017

See Our Review Here


 

Lord of Night by Erica Ridley

Lord of Night (Rogues to Riches, #3)Lord of Night by Erica Ridley
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release Date: 07/22/17
Series: Rogues to Riches, #3

I’m giving the book 4 stars, because it was well written and entertaining, but if you are a stickler for “by the book” true Regency protocol, this book is not for you.

This is the story of Dahlia Grenville (sister of Camilla from Lord of Pleasure) and Simon Spaudling.

Dahlia has runs a boarding school for girls in St. Giles, she has a huge heart and can’t bring herself to turn away any girl in need. Problem is, she has used all her own funds and she can’t afford to keep the school running without more donations, which are bascially non-existent since Lord Wainwright inadvertently scorned her school. Unwilling to close the school, Dahlia does what she thinks she must to keep the school going. She becomes a thief, does she know that it is wrong? Yes! But to her mind, closing the school and returning the girls to the streets is far worse.

Simon is an inspector for Bow Street, he is dedicated to his job and is a stickler for the law – there is no gray in Simon’s world. He is the bastard son of a marquess and has strong feelings about the “upper class”. He is still angry and bitter about the relationship that he had (or more aptly, didn’t have) with his father and is incredibly jealous of his half-brother, Lord Hawkridge. He has put all his passion for injustice into his career and has been very successful. So successful that the Justice of the Peace has been tasked him with finding the “Thief of Mayfair” and Simon will stop at nothing to find this criminal and bring them to justice.

He meets Dahlia by chance, he was on his way home when he came upon two women running from an attacker, he chases the thug and takes him into custody. He returns to St. Giles to let Dahlia know that the attacker was caught and thinks that will be the end of their association. But Simon is intrigued with Dahlia and returns to the school a few days later.

Dahlia is also taken with the handsome young inspector, but she has no room in her life for a romantic relationship nor can she risk what little social standing she still has by engaging in an affair. She vows to keep Simon at arms length. But she can’t seem to stop herself from drawing Simon into her life and for his part, Simon can’t seem to stay away.

As these two spend more time together and fall in love, it seems like they will have an easy path to a HEA. But what fun would that be??

When the truth is revealed about Dahlia’s “fund raising” efforts, will his love for her be enough for him to change his black and white view? I honestly wasn’t sure and didn’t see how this book could possibly have a positive ending! Of course it does, but it is touch and go until the very end 🙂

The book is well written, flows nicely, has a couple of warm love scenes and very likable characters (I will be honest, I didn’t like Dahlia in the previous book and didn’t expect to like her in this one, but she won me over). On the downside, their is little to no adherence to Regency proprieties and the idea that a young unmarried woman from a good family could do the things that Dahlia did and not be a complete outcast is unbelievable. However, if you can bear in mind that this is a work of fiction and can overlook this, you will not be disappointed with the story!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*

My Fair Lover by Nicole Jordan

My Fair Lover (Legendary Lovers, #5)Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Legendary Lovers #5
Publication Date: 8/29/17

Delightfully enthralling tale of love tempered with wit and adventure. Nicole Jordan has added another delightful read to the Legendary Lovers series.

Brandon Deverill is in love with Lady Katherine Wilde – but he doesn’t know it and neither does she. She loves him too – and she doesn’t know it and neither does he. What a delightful, tangled, twisted set of emotions these two unleash on each other.

The one sure thing is – Brandon wants Katherine and has for several years. He’s American, but he has English relatives and was in England visiting those relatives when he met Katherine’s family and became close friends with them. However, being the honorable man he is, he made the decision to return to America and fight on the side of his country in the War of 1812. During all the time he was gone he never forgot Katherine and wanted to go back and claim her for his own. Then, his relative passed away and Brandon inherited a title. He could care less about the title, but it gave him just the excuse he needed to go back to England and marry Katherine.

You’ll absolutely love Kate’s matchmaking family and the stunts they pull to get Brandon and Kate together. You’ve met them if you read the other books in the series, but if you haven’t, you’ll get to catch up with them in this book.

Kate is a little spitfire who wants absolutely nothing to do with Brandon Deverill. You see, like the honorable gentleman he is, he spurned her advances on the night before he left for America and she will absolutely never forgive him. However, when Kate’s very-much-loved aunt asks Kate to fill in for her in helping Brandon gain some polish and find a bride, Kate can hardly refuse because the aunt has been unavoidably detained at a lying-in.

Sparks fly as the two of them square off and do their best to keep their jealousy from showing as the other dances and flirts with others. Brandon has absolutely no intention of finding any bride other than Kate, but watching him convince her is wholly entertaining.

Then comes the adventure – a trip to France and an encounter with a pirate with whom Brandon has a history. Will they escape in one piece – if they do, it will be a close call.

I hope you’ll give this delightful, can’t-put-it-down book a try – I am sure you’ll enjoy it.

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

The Barbary Mark by Anne Cleeland

The Barbary MarkBarbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: None – Standalone
Publication Date: July 1, 2017

What a heroine!! What a story!! I love Anne Cleeland’s Acton and Doyle series and the heroine in this book is an ancestor of Doyle. I believe this book actually began as a serial on Cleeland’s website and was so popular that they published it. So, let me be honest – this is a book I would not normally have chosen for myself. Not even close. It doesn’t take place in England, Scotland or Ireland and it isn’t about a polite subject. However, I am so glad I have it and I think you will also love it if you give it a try!

Sionnan (Nonnie) Rafferty (yes, she is Irish) is washed ashore in Algiers and is taken to the Dey where she comes into contact with some good people and some very bad people. She meets the necromancer and there is definitely more to him than is apparent at first glance. Then, there is the Agha who is cruel and evil. The necromancer, of course, is another story. He is enigmatic and mysterious – and very, very enticing.

Nonnie and her friend Jamie have been sent to Algiers by the English Crown to find and eliminate whoever is funding and abetting Napoleon in escaping his imprisonment on Elba.

You’ll find Nonnie is fearless, brave and very intelligent in trying to keep herself (and others) out of the hands of the slave traders and to complete her mission. Then, we’ll have to add love into the picture for there is indeed love abounding in this book – we end up with more than one HEA.

It is an intriguing and interesting tale of the slave trade and the journey to its end. There are many twists and turns, but you’ll always find your way through. Also, be prepared for great waves of sympathy for the back stories of both Nonnie and Jamie.

An all-around interesting read and I hope you’ll give it a chance.

Never Kiss a Highlander by Michele Sinclair

Never Kiss a HighlanderNever Kiss a Highlander by Michele Sinclair
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Series: The McTiernay’s, #6

Twelve years ago Hamish left his home, his love and his birthright because it was clear the woman he loved was in love with his brother Robert. Hamish left and joined the McTiernay’s elite guard and has refused to return home ever since.

Over the years his brother Robert has tried to get Hamish to return home and each time Hamish has refused. In an effort to finally cut ties with his brother, Hamish agrees to temporarily return and help his brother. Since the marriage of yet another McTiernay brother to yet another woman Hamish thought he could love, he is ready for a change of scenery. Helping his brother rid himself of his backstabbing commander Ulrick is just what he needs.

Maired is the younger sister of Selah, Robert’s wife and Hamish’s former betrothed. She is eager for Hamish’s return and is shocked by the man who arrives….alone. Maired was expecting an army of McTiernay warriors and is dismayed that Hamish has arrived alone and has made it clear that he has no intention of involving the McTiernay’s in this matter.

If Maired is shocked by Hamish, it is nothing compared to his reaction to her, she is no longer the little girl he remembered, but a fully grown beautiful, spirited woman and for the first time in months Hamish is interested, very interested. But since he has no desire to stay, he will just ignore his lust, at least that was the plan 🙂

As Maired and Hamish grow closer, the more the passion simmers between them and after a mind melting kiss – which of course they both agree will never be repeated, they begin to fall in love. It is apparent to the reader that these two are meant to be, but it takes them considerably longer to figure that out.

Hamish realizes that he loves Maired and he also realizes that contrary to what he thought, he has never actually been in love before. But he still refuses to act on his feelings because he doesn’t plan on staying and he “knows” that Maired will not leave her family.

At times I wondered if these two would ever stop making assumptions about each other and finally talk, but the slow build up in their relationship really worked in this story. And when they finally marry, I was ecstatic! Even better, the story doesn’t end there! The threat of Ulrick still has to be dealt with and Ms. Sinclair throws the reader a curve ball. I will admit, after the build up to the return of Ulrick, I thought it was kind of anticlimactic and I thought to myself – that’s it, seriously? Well it wasn’t! Ms. Sinclair still had a few surprises for her readers which include a visit from Conor and Laurel!

This book was well written, flowed at a really nice pace, had lots of twists and turns, sibling spats, multiple weddings, steamy love scenes, surprises galore, a soulmate type of love and a wonderful HEA.

This is the sixth book in the McTiernay’s series, but I think it could be read as a stand alone title with no problem, although you would probably have a better understanding of Hamish if you at least read the prior book “Seducing the Highlander”. I loved this book and would happily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great Highlander story!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

The Greatest Challenge of Them All by Stephanie Laurens

The Greatest Challenge Of Them All (Cynster Next Generation Novels Book 6)Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Devil’s Brood Trilogy #3
Publication Date: 7/13/17

Stephanie Laurens always entertains us with charming characters, exciting plots, and characters that you will never forget. Her words just fly off the page, grab you and pull you right into the story and don’t let you go until it is done.

This book is an exceptional wrap-up to the trilogy. You really can’t read this book as a stand-alone because it is part of a trilogy with an overarching mystery that must be solved for Queen and Country.

The first book featured Sebastian Cynster (Devil’s heir) and Antonia Rawlings (eldest daughter of the Earl of Chillingworth) who are sent to Kent to investigate a missive sent to Drake Varisey (Heir to the Duke of Wolverston) saying that the sender has important information he must share. As they investigate, they discover that the plot involves a large shipment of gunpowder being sent to London.

The second book featured Michael Cynster (Devil’s second son) and Cleo Hendon (only daughter of the Jack and Kit Hendon of Hendon Shipping Company). The gunpowder has now reached London and Michael and Cleo have to locate it and stop the plot if they can.

This book, the third and final one, features Lord Drake Varisey and Louisa Cynster (only daughter of Devil – also known as Lady Wild in the ton). Their task is to stop the gunpowder from being delivered to its final destination, identify the target and identify the mastermind behind the plot.

All of these ladies are strong, bold, intelligent, and determined not to be left out of the investigation. Louisa has a long history with Drake – their families have always been friends and Louisa has always known that Drake was the one for her. Drake basically always knew that Louisa was the one for him, but he was fighting it tooth and nail because he thought that love and marriage would be a weakness in his role for the Crown. However, when Louisa insinuates herself, uninvited, into the investigation, he soon comes to value how much she can contribute.

All three of the couples are featured in this book although the main focus is on Drake and Louisa. All of the couples are zipping all over London trying to investigate different aspects of the plot as well as trying to keep up their social obligations as betrothed couples.

Of course, one of my favorite characters is Lady Osbaldestone who is absolutely ancient by now and has been featured in many of the Cynster novels.

The mystery is intense and the target is unexpected as is the mastermind and his reasons for the plot. You’ll just have to read the story to find all of that out.

His Highland Heart by Willa Blair

His Highland HeartHis Highland Heart by Willa Blair

Release Date: February 01, 2017

Series: His Highland Heart, #1

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story opens with Euan Brodie being shipwrecked on Ross lands, he is in hostile territory and has been separated from his crew. He is injured and wracked with guilt over the loss of his ship and crew. His first encounter with Muireall Munro is when he saves her from being swept out to sea.

Muireall was taken captive almost a month prior when the Ross clan raided her lands and stole her and two other girls as brides. Muireall has yet to be matched with a Ross clansman, but that will change in a matter of days if she cannot escape. She has tried more than once and has the marks to prove it. When she is cut off from the cove by the rising tide, she is sure that she will die. But Euan risks his own safety to save her and she feels a glimmer of hope that she might be able to get home.

Muireall and Euan don’t exactly trust each other, but they work together to reach caves above the tide line and hatch a plan to escape the Ross’. As much as she doesn’t want to, Muireall agrees to return the village and will try to persuade Ella, one of the other Munro girls to leave with her and to aid Euan escape.

After Muireall returns to the beach, she is immediately caught by the Ross laird, who promptly gives her to his second in command as a bride. Euan lets her go, but has promised to return her to her family. When she leave the cave and he doesn’t hear her, he follows her. Once he knows she is back in the village and decides to search for food and water and ends up finding Calum, one of his lost crewmen.

When Muireall is cornered by the Ross laird, she runs in the woods trying to find Euan. When she stubbles upon him, the Ross laird and his guard ambush them. In a fight for his life, Euan ends up killing the Ross laird and escaping with Muireall and Calum. When they make it to the cove to steal a boat, they find another crewman, unfortunately, he did not survive. Euan has promised to take Muireall home, but he must first return James’ body to his family. He asks her to try and be patient just a little longer.

When they arrive back at Brodie, Euan immediately wants to go back and find his other missing crew members, but Iain Brodie, Laird Brodie refuses to let him go, he also refuses to return Muireall to Munro until he knows what is happening with the Ross clan.

Over the next few days, Muireall is cared for by the Brodie clan and grows closer to Euan, but she just wants to go home, even when the Brodie clansmen return with news and Ella, she is impatient to leave.

When a Ross warrior shows up and tells Iain that they have one of his clansmen and will kill him if the man who murdered their laird and the girls are not returned to them, Muireall is frantic – she will not return to the Ross clan and she doesn’t want Euan to go either. Iain refuses to admit that they had anything to do with death of the Ross laird and sends the warrior back empty handed. Again Muireall asks to be sent home and is again denied.

When Euan is able to redeem himself and with the help of Muireall come up with a plan to make a peace offering to the new Ross laird, Iain gives Muireall permission to return home.

Before they leave, Euan admits his feelings to Muireall and is hurt that she doesn’t immediately agree to marry him. He returns her to her family and again makes his feelings known and is again rejected.

He leaves to return to Brodie and they are both heartbroken, until one of them finally swallows their pride and returns to their love. Even when our lovers are reunited, Ms. Blair isn’t finished with the story and throws in another twist or two.

This was a well written book, it flowed nicely, had a lot of tense moments, a lot of heartache and a little steam. I did feel like Muireall was unreasonable at times and maybe a tad selfish. And towards the end of the book, she really became annoying, rejecting Euan, yet being upset that he didn’t ask her father for her hand. If I was confused, I can only imagine what poor Euan was feeling 😊

All in all, it was a very entertaining read and I would be happy to recommend it to anyone who enjoys highland historicals.

**Review was done as an editorial review for Romcon and originally posted at Romcon Reviews**

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