Monthly Archives: August 2017

Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins

Caught by the Scot (Made to Marry, #1)Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins

Series: Made to Marry, #1

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

I love Ms. Hawkins writing style – funny and light one page and then deep and emotional the next. This book was no exception, Connor and Theodora aka Thea are very likable leads with an undeniable chemistry. Their banter was vastly amusing but there was a lot of deep emotion as well.

Connor must marry, his sister has just passed away and has stipulated that if the three brothers do not marry within 3 months, their inheritance will be given to the Campbell’s – their greatest enemy! None of the three really need the money, but they will be damned if they let the Campbell’s have it!

Connor has the perfect woman in mind for his bride – his best friend’s sister, Theodora. They have been friends for ages and she would be the perfect wife for him. She would be no hardship to live with and even less to leave behind when he goes to sea. Thinking she will jump at the chance to marry him, he takes his time setting out for her home. When he finally arrives he learns that Thea is not home – she has eloped! Determined to retrieve his bride, Connor follows them.

Thea is having a really bad day and is wondering if she has made the biggest mistake of her life by eloping with Lance. She is not in love with him, but he will give her a stable home and a family, which is what she longs for after years of moving with her family from one diplomatic post to another. But now sitting in an inn in the middle of nowhere, banged up from a carriage mishap and drenched from being tossed into a ditch – she is rethinking her decision. And to make matters worse – the only man she has ever loved has just walked into the inn. When Connor enters the room, her heart leaps and she has to remind herself that she cannot love him anymore – so imagine her shock when Connor announces that he has decided to marry her!

The tale that follows is a delightful road trip romance of sorts – with Connor scheming to win his lady and Thea neatly deflecting him.

I really enjoyed the story, it is well written and covers just about the entire emotional spectrum – but it did kind of stall a little in the middle, but once you get past the 65% mark, the story gets its second wind and takes off without stopping until the very last page! With an entertaining cast of secondary characters, some passionate kisses and a couple of warmish love scenes this was a delight to read.

I would be happy to recommend this book and look forward to the rest of the series!

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

When The Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington

RELEASE PARTY! Please join the Facebook release party on 8/29 from 7pm EST – 10pm EST. There will be all kinds of contests, guest authors stopping by, and other fun things. See you there! 

When the Scoundrel Sins (Capturing the Carlisles, #2)When the Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Capturing the Carlisles #2
Publication Date: 08/29/17

Harrington’s excellent writing coupled with sizzling chemistry and a bit of humor make for a great read – even while you want to shake both the hero and heroine until their teeth rattle.

Our heroine is Annabelle Green. Her father is a convicted thief and her mother was a housekeeper. She knew brutality and deprivation before her mother passed away and she became the ‘ward’ of Lord and Lady Ainsley when she was still very young. You’ll find out how that came about toward the end of the book. She was raised as a lady – except she wasn’t one. Lord and Lady Ainsley decided she should have a London season and hoped for a great match and they couldn’t understand why she was basically shunned. Well DUH! She was the low-born daughter of a thief – what did they expect. So, of course, there was a scandal at her very first ball. It wasn’t her fault – but it was a scandal nonetheless. In order to protect her, Lord Ainsley left the estate she had always lived on to her in his will – but she had to marry by her 25th birthday in order to inherit. Annabelle doesn’t want to marry but the will seems to be unbreakable, so it is either marry or lose the home she loves.

Quinn Carlisle is the third son of a Duke and his parents were a love match. He has vowed to never fall in love because he saw how his mother suffered after his father died in an accident. I do have to say that Quinn is not my favorite hero. I thought he came across as very selfish, self-centered and uncaring. Quinn doesn’t see any way he can stand on his own and be respected for who he is and what he has accomplished without leaving England, so he is on his way to America. He has totally forgotten that he caused the scandal that ruined Annabelle – and never even saw it as his fault (see selfish, self-centered and uncaring comment above).

Lady Ainsley has raised Annabelle since she was a small child and loves her like a daughter. Quinn is Lady Ainsley’s nephew, so he and Annabelle were around each other a lot as children. Lady Ainsley decides that Quinn needs to help find Annabelle a husband before her birthday since he is the one who caused the scandal in the first place.

I hope you will give this book a try. I think you’ll like it – even though you’ll want to give both the hero and heroine a good spanking before you are through reading it. That is just the mark of a writer and plot that pulls you into the story – if they weren’t good, you wouldn’t feel anything.

“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 Traitor’s Club: Hugh by Laura Landon

The Traitor's Club: HughThe Traitor’s Club: Hugh by Laura Landon
Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Traitor’s Club, #2

Release Date: September, 12, 2017

This was a quick read for me and I enjoyed idea of the story.

Lady Annalise Lyman aka Nellie is a spinster, she hates London and would like nothing better than to retire to the country – which she plans to do just as soon as she marries off her youngest sister.

Lord Hugh Wythers is the second son of a Marquess and a rake – since his return from the war, he has spent his time pursuing all the delights London has to offer, that is until his father cuts him off – he tells Hugh that he is gifting him an estate and Hugh will have to live off the profits. Hugh hates the country and will do anything to stay in London. His initial plan is to marry an heiress and use her money to continue living the life he loves, but when he is turned down yet again, he gets rip roaring drunk and hatches a new plan – he will marry a plain woman. He explains his plan to his friends and then falls off the balcony, literally landing at the feet of Nellie. In a drunken haze, he kisses her and tells her she is perfect because she is homely.

The next day, after he sobers up and his friends tell him what a jerk he was, he calls on Nellie to apologize. While he doesn’t consider her a candidate for the position of his wife – he is drawn to her kind and generous nature.

When Nellie learns that her sister may have to move far away because they don’t want to take the management of her father’s estate from her, Nellie reaches out to Hugh and offers her services as estate manager. Hugh agrees, but insists that they marry.

They marry and go to the estate – it has been agreed between them that Hugh will stay a short while and then return to London. Nellie makes him promise not to return. After a month together, Hugh leaves and at first is overjoyed to return to London. But as time passes, he misses Nellie and writes to her. Nellie has also missed Hugh, but can’t bear the pain of his leaving her – unbeknownst to him, she conceived and she hasn’t told him, nor has she read any of the letters he has sent.

Six months pass before Hugh returns and is shocked to learn that she is with child, he insists on staying until the child is born. Hugh doesn’t want to return to London, but Nellie is insisting that he goes after the birth of their child.

I though the book was well written, but there are formal address issues (which might be corrected in the final published copy – but I am basing my review on what I read) Hugh is the second son of a marquess – he has an honorific title of Lord Hugh – NOT Lord Wythers. The love scenes are there, but they are muted and would be best described as lukewarm. Nellie is a strong heroine, but she suffers from low self-esteem because of her looks and Hugh comes across as very selfish and self-serving. But they are really both loyal and honorable people who stupidly think they are doing what is best for the other. I did like both of them and hoped that they would figure out how to compromise and have a happy marriage before it was too late.

This is the second book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title.

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

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1)The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Girl meets Duke, #1

Release Date: August 22, 2017

OMG! I would give this book 10 stars if I could!

I LOVED this book and I’m going to say it – this is the best book I have read all year!

Emma and Ash are my new favorite book couple – the chemistry between them sizzled from their first meeting until the very last page.

George Pembrooke, the Duke of Ashbury aka Ash (as well as, bunnykins, my fawn, sunshine and honeybee along with several other pet names – LOL) is in need of a heir and for that he will need a wife. Almost as soon as he writes the words to his solicitor – a woman in a hideous wedding gown appears in his library. He doesn’t go out in society since he was wounded in the war, so having a bride appear in his home is perfect.

Emma Gladstone is a seamstress and when Ash’s former betrothed calls off the wedding – Emma is stuck with the gown and no money to show for her hard work. Desperate, she visits the Duke in hopes of payment. But to her surprise he offers her marriage. Of course she says no and leaves. But later she rethinks her refusal. Emma has scars of her own, but unlike Ash hers are not visible to the world. So when Ash shows up at her shop and tells her he really wants to marry her – she agrees.

They marry and Emma begins to break down the walls Ash has spent the last two years building. Love was never part of his plan – but as hard as he tries to keep her out, Emma storms the walls and steals his heart.

I laughed out loud, I cried and I had to fan myself reading this book – it was perfect. It is well written, flows perfectly, has a great supporting cast, witty banter, hilarious internal (and external) dialogue, steamy love scenes, a little heartache, a protective hero and a loving heroine.

If you are looking for a great read with a lot of laughs, emotion and a soulmate type of love, look no further – this is that book and it is a MUST READ KEEPER!!!

Once a Rebel by Mary Jo Putney

Once a Rebel (Rogues Redeemed)Once a Rebel by Mary Jo Putney
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Rogues Redeemed, #2

Release Date: August 29, 2017

If you like friends to lovers stories – you will love this book.

Catherine Callista Brooke (aka Callie) and Lord George Gordon Richard Augustus Audley (aka Richard aka Gordon) have been the best of friends since they were children. So when Callie’s father tells her that he has arranged her marriage to a much older widowed plantation owner and that she will be married immediately and go with him to Jamaica, she is frantic and turns to Richard for help running away. Richard is the rebellious third son of the Marquess of Kingston, when Callie comes to him for help, he doesn’t hesitate, he suggests that they go to Scotland to marry. When they are caught by their fathers, Callie agrees to marry the man her father has chosen if he will spare Richard’s life. Her father agrees, but trumps up charges and has Richard transported to New South Wales.

Fifteen years later, Richard is back in London (if you read the Lost Lords series, you might remember him as Gordon – a classmate and minor character in those books) and Lord Kirkwood has an assignment for him. He needs him to go to America and find the widow Audley and either return her to her family in England or ensure her wellbeing in America. This task will be dangerous as England is at war with America – but helping people is what Richard does best and he accepts the mission.

Callie is now widowed and has moved her “family” to Washington and assumed the identity of the widow Audley to escape her vile step-son Henry. When her husband died, he made no final provisions for his two illegitimate children with his mistress. His children are quadroons and Henry considers them slaves and wanted to sell them, Callie has grown to love the children and fled to America rather than let Henry sell them. She has worked hard and established herself as seamstress, all is going well until the British invade Washington. Fearing for her family, she sends them to Baltimore and stays behind to protect the house. She is inadvertently caught up in skirmish, her house is burned to the ground and she is in grave danger when Richard arrives and claims that she is his wife.

Callie and Richard are shocked to see one another again, Callie had been told that Richard died en route to New South Wales. Richard is overjoyed to find Callie and again offers to marry her. Callie politely declines but agrees to act the part of his wife to get to Baltimore. Richard decides that Callie is the woman for him and plans to use the time to woo her. They risk life and limb to get to Baltimore and arrive to find that Callie’s extended family is safe and sound – however Baltimore is preparing for the British to attack – so there will be no easy escape for them. As they spend more time together, the more they begin to fallback into their easy friendship and Callie begins to realize that everything is changing, she is no longer quintessential to her “family” and she begins to think that marrying Richard and returning to England might be exactly what she needs. Just when it seems that her life might finally be looking up, she is faced with yet another challenge – her stepson Henry has found them. After a horrifying encounter with Henry and surviving the Battle of Baltimore – Callie agrees to marry Richard and return to England.

Once they return to England, there are more shocks in store for our lovers, such as the identity of the sister that betrayed them 15 years and the discovery that both their fathers have passed and through the fickle hand of fate – Richard is now the Marquess of Kingston. Determined to make the best of their newly rewritten future, Callie and Richard venture to the Kingston family estate to confront Richard’s younger brothers. All seems to be falling into place, when another tragedy strikes them and secrets are revealed and Richard is forced to do the unthinkable to save the woman he loves more than life itself.

This book was really well done, it has an almost epic feel to it and flows perfectly. It has a lot of history, surprising cameos, steamy love scenes, life and death moments, lighthearted moments and a truly lovely soulmate type of love. My only complaint is this book really needed an epilogue – I was left wondering what happened to her family in America and what became of her unresolved feelings with her sister. Other than that, which admittedly is very minor – I enjoyed this book and would happily recommend it. It is the second book in the series, but they are very loosely connected and there would be no reason this book could not be read as a stand alone title.

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

Mine, Forever and Always by Tammy L. Bailey

Mine, Forever and AlwaysMine, Forever and Always by Tammy L. Bailey

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone Novella
Publication Date: 3/15/2017

I’d actually give it 4.5 stars, but the system won’t let me.

What a delightful read! Tammy Bailey is a new author to me. As far as I as I can tell, this is her third book and her first historical romance. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more of her work.

This is an almost perfectly perfect novella. It hits all the marks with very likable characters, a compelling, emotional story and a happily ever after. All of the questions were answered – well – all but one question was answered. What is going to happen between Jane and Mr. Waverly? This is a standalone novella, so a next volume in the series isn’t planned – but – there wasn’t any sort of resolution for them. I couldn’t figure out if they were just good friends or if they had an affection for each other but were in denial. The author did let one modern word slip into the story – maybe more, but I only noticed one. She used the word ‘viral’ toward the end of the story. Frankly, the story was so well done that it didn’t bother me at all.

Lily Scott has loved Henry Dalton almost her whole life and has considered herself ‘married’ to him since she was almost fifteen. They were humoring Henry’s sister, Jane, and performing a play where Henry was the groom and Lily was the bride. At the end of the ceremony, Henry leaned down and kissed Lily and told her ‘Now you are mine, forever and always’. Lily loved Henry with all her heart and was hurt and confused when he suddenly left and then pretended that he didn’t even remember her name.

Henry Dalton loved Lily, but when two events shattered his belief in love and marriage he decided to just put her out of his heart, mind, and life. He could manage to put her out of his mind for periods of time, but she was always in his heart. Imagine what happens when he goes to a house party at his family estate and Lily is there.

Mr. Waverly, Henry’s best friend, and Jane decide that it is time to get Henry and Lily together and make them deal with their feelings one way or the other. The entire house party was geared toward that end. You’ll love the maneuvering Jane and Mr. Waverly does to bring the two together, to cause jealousy and to see that they get to be alone together from time to time. Jane is a born manipulator and her parlor games are really good.

I sincerely hope you’ll give this author and this novella a try. It is a short, sweet and quick read that I really think you’ll enjoy.

“I received this e-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.”

Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor by Anna Bradley

Lady Eleanor's Seventh Suitor (The Sutherland Sisters, #1)Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor by Anna Bradley

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Sutherland Sisters #1
Publication Date: 9/5/17

What an unexpectedly delightful read with very complex and interesting characters. I say unexpectedly delightful because before I started reading I had wondered how the characters could go from blackmail to an HEA. Then, after the things that were said during the initial blackmail contact, I was sure it couldn’t happen. This was my first book by Anna Bradley, but it most definitely will not be the last.

Both the hero and heroine as well as several of the supporting characters are fractured and flawed by terrible childhoods. Once you finally understand the depth of emotional disturbances in their childhoods, you can better understand their actions in adulthood.

Lady Eleanor Sutherland is referred to as Lady Frost by the ton. It isn’t a name she has sought, nor is it a name that describes her in any way. So far, she has soundly rejected six suitors – five the ton knows of and one they don’t. She has her own page in White’s betting book where young bucks bet on everything from getting a smile from her to getting her to accept a marriage proposal. One of the first scenes in the book shows one of these young bucks trying to propose to her at a ball. Eleanor wants to marry for love, but she is afraid of marriage because of the way her father treated the family and her mother just seemed to disappear as a person. Eleanor has learned to feel that she isn’t important and she doesn’t matter.

Camden West’s childhood was shattered when he was nine years old and his father died of a fever. His uncle moved in and took over Cam’s inheritance. The uncle is a vile and hateful man and when Cam becomes really close (like brothers) with Julian (the uncle’s son), the uncle becomes wildly jealous of the relationship. Cam’s mother is shattered emotionally and never recovers. I can’t really tell you much more here without spoiling the story for you – but just know that the pivotal events in Cam’s life happened at the country estate.

Cam left home when he was thirteen and left for India when he was seventeen. Once he left, he never returned. While in India he made a huge fortune and came back to England bent on justice for his sister. However, he has confused justice with revenge and doesn’t take into account all of the collateral damage his revenge will do.

You’ll love Cam’s little sister. She is the sweetest eleven-year-old you’ll ever meet. Everybody loves her and she is the sunrise in Cam’s day. He loves her beyond all measure and will do anything for her, her future and her happiness.

The first part of Cam’s revenge includes marrying Eleanor. He tries gaining her interest in the normal way, but when that doesn’t work he develops a scheme to have her sister, Charlotte, compromised and he would be the only witness. That way, he can blackmail her into marriage. You’d think that wouldn’t work, but the Sutherland’s are a very, very close family and will do anything for each other.

The morning after Charlotte has been compromised, Cam pays a visit to Eleanor and delivers his blackmail demand. She finally agrees, but with no intention of actually going through with a betrothal. Thus begins a game of cat and mouse with each of them scheming to outwit the other. That part is a fun read when you see how Eleanor pulls his chain – until he finally figures out what she is up to.

You’ll ride along on a rollercoaster of emotions right up to the end. Cam finally realizes what true love is and that if he loves Eleanor, he might just have to let her go – yep – when that scene gets there you better have the tissues ready. You’ll also sigh and cry for Julian and Charlotte as well.

“I requested and received this e-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.”

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