Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Bride Who Got Lucky by Janna MacGregor

The Bride Who Got Lucky (The Cavensham Heiresses #2)The Bride Who Got Lucky by Janna MacGregor
Tracy’s rating: 2 of 5 stars

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses, #2

Release Date: October 31, 2017

I know I am in the minority here, but I did not care for this book.

Basically the heroine Emma (cousin to Claire from the previous book) is on a mission. Her dearest friend Lena has died and Emma believes Lena’s husband is responsible. Emma is determined to bring the man to justice, single handedly if necessary. Once she has accomplished this, she wants to open a bank that serves only women, thus giving them a way to be independent.

Unable to ignore a death she feels partially responsible for, Emma asks her parents and brothers for help. But when they tell her to let it go, she ends up makes one bad decision after another.

Nick, Earl of Somerton and heir to the Duke of Renton also is on a mission, his one and only desire in life is to make a fortune greater than his estranged father’s and then flaunt it in his father’s face. He doesn’t have time for nonsense or for a wife – but thanks to Emma’s inability to stay out of trouble, he is going to end up with both.

When Nick saves Emma (yet again) from herself, they are caught in an inn together and to save their reputations, marry.

As wedding present Nick gave her the funds needed to start her bank and it seems like Emma has matured and has come to peace with Lena’s death. That is, until she doesn’t get her way then her true colors come out.

I personally found Emma to be one of the most annoying and manipulative heroines I have ever read. And while the story had potential, the execution fell flat. The plot was flimsy and at times down right unbelievable. Nick was the one high point in this book, if not for him, I may have broken my own steadfast ARC rule and not finished the book.

In the previous book, I felt like the author added too many elements and the story ended up being too busy. In this book she managed to stay on point, but the plot line she choose just didn’t work for me – it was not true to the era and was riddled with contradictions. I am not sure if I would be willing to read the next book in the series, but I do know that I would not be conformable recommending this book to my friends.

Blog Tour – The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman


Book Synopsis:

Can two star-crossed lovers come together—until death do they part?

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride—ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .

Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry—or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?

Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today
“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews “Smoldering.” —Booklist

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble
Indie Bound

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @Valeriegbowman
Facebook @ValerieBowmanAuthor

Barbara’s Review

The Right Kind of Rogue (Playful Brides, #8)The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Playful Brides #8
Publication Date: 10/31/17

I have loved all the Playful Brides books and this one is no exception. I loved the book, the characters, and the writing. I read this book while traveling and even with the interruptions I could hardly put it down. I read it straight through.

Hart Highgate is a Viscount in his own right as well as being the heir to an Earldom. He drinks too much, lives recklessly, loves horses and horse racing and has absolutely no good thoughts about marriage. When you meet his parents, you quickly understand why he doesn’t look forward to marriage. However, he has decided that this is the season he will choose a wife.

Meg Timmons is the daughter of an impoverished Baron. She is in her third season and has worn the same three gowns all three seasons, her gloves are graying and her slippers are fraying. She’s also madly, desperately, totally in love with her best friend’s brother – Hart Highgate. However, Hart doesn’t even know she is alive and even if he did, she wouldn’t be his choice for a bride. His family would never allow it because her family and his family are bitter enemies.

Sarah, Hart’s sister and the heroine from book 6, The Legendary Lord, is determined to find a match for Meg this season. Sarah knows that Meg loves Hart, but she also believes that Hart is not the right man for Meg. She knows that Hart doesn’t look forward to marriage nor does he have any respect for it. Hart, Sarah is sure, will break Meg’s heart. So she sets out to find a good match for her friend.

When Meg learns that Hart has determined to marry this season, she knows she is out of time, so she asks Lucy Hunt, Duchess of Claringdon to help her win Hart. However, she makes Lucy promise that there will be no trapping Hart into marriage. Meg only wants it to be a real loving marriage and if Hart feels the same.

Lucy, as in every book, is over the top. She believes she is always right and expects everybody to go along with her. Actually, she really is usually right. However, this time, she really hurts both Meg and Hart and almost destroys any chance they have of making a successful match.

Meg and Hart’s HEA is very hard won and you begin to wonder if it will really happen. Both are stubborn as they can be and both families are against them. I liked both of the characters and was really rooting for them and their relationship.

In the interest of being frank here – the forms of address and the casual way they speak and refer to each other is totally off base. I know that Lucy and the others are supposed to be ‘unconventional’, but unconventional in that time period would still not be so casual.

Now, I am already anxiously awaiting the next book in the series – especially so I can get an update on what is going on with Hart and Meg!

“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.”



“How in Hades’s name can you drink at this hour of the morning, Highgate?”

Hart tossed back his brandy, swallowed, and laughed at his brother-in-law’s words. The two sat across from each other at Brooks’s gentlemen’s club. It was decidedly before noon. The only reason Hart was up at this hour was that he’d promised to meet Lord Christian Berkeley. His brother-in-law rarely asked for favors and Hart suspected this meeting was his sister Sarah’s doing, but he would humor the viscount just the same.

“Berkeley, old chap, you don’t know the half of it.” Hart clapped the viscount on the back. “Helps with the devil of a head left over from last night, don’t ya know?”

Berkeley lifted his teacup to his lips. “No. I don’t. But I’ll take your word for it.”

That reply only made Hart laugh harder, which made his head hurt more. Hart liked his brother-in-law a great deal, but the man was decidedly humdrum when it came to amusements. Berkeley rarely drank, rarely smoked, and preferred to spend his time at his estate in the north of England or his hunting lodge in Scotland. Berkeley enjoyed quiet pursuits like reading or carving things out of wood much more than the amusements London had to offer. But Viscount Berkeley was a good man and one who clearly adored Hart’s sister, and that was what mattered.

The viscount had gone so far as to dramatically interrupt Sarah’s wedding to a pompous marquess and claim her for himself, thereby not only proving his commitment to Sarah but also saving Hart from having the self-involved Marquess of Branford as a brother-in-law. Overall it had been quite a fortunate turn of events for everyone. Everyone except Hart and Sarah’s enraged, thwarted parents, that is.

Berkeley tugged at his cravat. “How are your—ahem— parents getting on?”

Hart cracked a smile. “Still angry, of course, even after all these months. You and Sarah made a good decision, staying up north for the winter. Gave Father and Mother time to calm down.” His father’s anger at having a scandal mar his family name and his daughter marry a mere viscount as opposed to a marquess who had the ear of the Prince Regent had barely abated over the winter, but no need to tell Berkeley as much.

Berkeley leaned back in his chair and crossed one silk-stockinged ankle over an immaculately creased knee, his hands lightly clutching the arms of his chair. He shook his head. “They’re not calmed down, are they?”

“A bit.” Hart stopped a footman and ordered another brandy. “Don’t worry. They’ll be civil when they see you. For Sarah’s sake.”

“Well, that’s something. Are you seriously ordering another drink?”

“Are you seriously surprised?” Hart scratched his rough cheek. He’d been running late and hadn’t bothered to ask his usually drunken valet to shave him this morning. For Christ’s sake, that man drank more than he did. Not exactly someone he wanted near his throat with a straight razor. “Besides I have quite a good reason to drink today.”

“Really?” Berkeley tugged at his cuff. Ever since Sarah had taught him how to dress properly, the viscount was much more attentive to his clothing. He was downright dapper these days. “Why is that?”

“I’m getting married.” Hart emitted a groan to accompany those incomprehensible words.

Berkeley’s brows shot up. He set down his cup and placed a hand behind his ear. “Pardon? I must have heard you incorrectly. I thought you said married.”

The footman returned with the drink and Hart snatched it from the man’s gloved hand and downed nearly half of it in a single gulp. “I did,” he muttered through clenched teeth, wincing.

“You? Married?” Berkeley’s brow remained steadfastly furrowed, and he blinked as if the word were foreign.

“Me. Married.” Hart gave a firm nod before taking another fortifying gulp of brandy.

“Ahem, who is the, uh, fortunate lady?” Berkeley lifted his cup back to his lips and took a long gulp, as if needing the hot drink to banish his astonishment.

“I haven’t the first idea.” Hart shook his head. He was giving serious thought to the notion of ordering a third brandy. Would that be bad form? Probably.

“Now you’re simply confusing me,” Berkeley said with an unmistakable smile on his face. With his free hand, he pulled the morning’s copy of the Times from the tabletop next to him and scanned the headlines.

Hart took another sip of brandy and savored it this time. “I haven’t made any decisions as to the chit yet. I’ve merely announced to Father that this is the year I intend to find a bride. The idea of marriage has always made my stomach turn. After all, if my parents’ imperfect union is anything by which to gauge the institution, it’s a bloody nightmare.”

“Why the change of heart?” Berkeley asked.

Hart scrubbed a hand through his hair. The truth was, he wasn’t less sickened by the prospect of marriage these days, but he couldn’t avoid the institution forever. At some point he’d have to put the parson’s noose firmly around his own throat and pull. Wives were fickle, and marriages meant little other than the exchange of money and property. His own father had announced that fact on more than one occasion. His parents treated each other like unhappy strangers, and his father had made it clear that they were anything but in love. That, Hart supposed, was his fate. To live a life as his parents had in the pursuit of procreating and producing the next future Earl of Highfield. So be it, but was it any wonder he’d been putting it off?

“Seeing Sarah marry had more of an effect on me than I expected,” Hart admitted, frowning at his not-quite-empty glass. “And if you ever tell anyone I said that, I’ll call you out.” He looked at Berkeley and grinned again.

“You have my word,” Berkeley replied with a nod. “But may I ask how it affected you?”

Hart pushed himself back in the large leather chair and crossed his booted feet at the ankles. “I started thinking about it all, you know? Life, marriage, children, family. I expect you and Sarah will be having a child soon, and by God I’d like my children to grow up knowing their kin. My cousin Nicole was quite close to Sarah and me when we were children. Nicole’s marriage isn’t one to emulate, either. She hasn’t even seen her husband in years. Last I heard, she’s living somewhere in France, childless. By God, perhaps I should rethink this.” Hart pulled at his cravat. The bloody thing was nearly choking him what with all of this talk of marriage.

Berkeley leaned back in his seat, mirroring Hart. “Perhaps you should focus on the positive aspects of marriage. I assure you, there are many.”

“Believe me, I’m trying,” Hart continued, reminding himself for the hundredth time of the reasons why he’d finally come to this decision. God knew it hadn’t been an easy one. “Whether I like it or not, it’s time for me to choose a bride. Sarah is my younger sister. While she wasn’t married, it all seemed like fun and games, but now, well, seems everyone is tying the proverbial knot these days what with Owen Monroe and Rafe Cavendish marrying. Even Rafe’s twin, Cade, has fallen to the parson’s noose.”

Just this morning when Hart had woken with a splitting head for the dozenth time in as many days, he’d thought yet again how he needed to stop being so reckless. He wasn’t able to bounce back from a night of debauchery nearly as quickly as he used to when he was at university. Seeing Sarah marry had made him consider his duties, his responsibilities, and his . . . age. For the love of God, he was nearly thirty. That thought alone was enough to make him want another brandy. It was his duty to sire the next Earl of Highfield, and duty meant something to him. What else mattered if he didn’t respect his duty? Hadn’t that been hammered into his head since birth by his father, along with all the dire warnings not to choose the wrong wife?

“It’s true that several marriages have taken place lately in our set of friends,” Berkeley replied, still leisurely perusing the paper while sipping tea. “But I thought you were immune to all of that, Highgate.”

“I have been.” Hart sighed again. “But I’ve finally decided it’s time to get to it.”

Berkeley raised his teacup in salute. “Here’s to the future Lady Highfield. May she be healthy, beautiful, and wise.”

“Thank you,” Hart replied. He tugged at his pythonlike cravat again.

Berkeley regarded Hart down the length of his nose. “Any ladies catch your fancy?”

Hart shook his head. He braced an elbow on the table beside them and set his chin on his fist. “No. That’s the problem. I’m uncertain where to begin.”

Berkeley let the paper drop to his lap. “What sort of lady are you looking for?”

Hart considered the question for a moment. What sort of lady, indeed? “She’ll need to be reasonable, well connected, clever, witty, a happy soul. Someone who is honest, and forthright, and who isn’t marrying me only for my title. Someone who doesn’t nag and has an indecently large dowry, of course. Father puts great stock in such things. Not to mention if I’m going to be legshackled, I might as well get a new set of horses out of the bargain. I’m thinking a set of matching grays and a new coach.”

“Oh, that’s not much of a list,” Berkeley said with a snort. “

I don’t expect the search to be a simple one, or a quick one.” The truth was Hart had no earthly idea who he was looking for. He only knew who he wasn’t looking for . . . someone like his mother. Or the treacherous Annabelle Cardiff. He wanted the exact opposite.

Berkeley tossed the paper back onto the tabletop. “Knowing your father’s decided opinions on such matters, I’m surprised he hasn’t provided you with a list of eligible females from which you may choose.”

Hart rolled his eyes. “He has. He’s named half a dozen ladies he would gladly accept.”

Berkeley inclined his head to the side. “Why don’t you choose one of them then?”

Hart gave his brother-in-law an are-you-quite-serious look, chin tucked down, head tilted to the side. “I’m bloody well not about to allow my father to choose a bride for me. Besides, after seeing you and Sarah, I hold out some hope of finding a lady with whom I’m actually compatible.”

“Why, Highgate, do you mean . . . love?” Berkeley grinned and leaned forward in mock astonishment.

“Let’s not go that far.” Hart took another sip of his quickly dwindling brandy. That’s precisely what confused him so much. He knew love matches existed. He’d witnessed one in his sister’s marriage. On the other hand, her choice had so enraged his parents, they still hadn’t forgiven her. Hart didn’t intend to go about the business of finding a wife in quite so dramatic a fashion. Love matches attracted drama. However, his parents’ unhappy union was nothing to aspire to, and he’d nearly made the mistake of marrying a woman who wanted nothing more than title and fortune before. It was a tricky business, the marriage mart, but he’d rather take advice from Sarah and Berkeley than his father. The proof of the pudding was in the eating, after all.

Berkeley laughed. “What if you fall madly in love and become a devoted husband? Jealous even. Now, that would be a sight.”

“Jealous? That’s not possible.” Hart grinned back at Berkeley. “I’ve never been jealous. Don’t have it in me. My friends at university used to tease me about it. No ties to any particular lady. No regrets.” He settled back in his chair and straightened his cravat, which was tighter than ever.

“We’ll see.” Berkeley took another sip of tea. His eyes danced with amusement.

“I was hoping you and Sarah might help me this Season.

Sarah knows most of the young ladies. She also knows me as well as anyone does. Not to mention, the two of you seem to have got the thing right.”

Berkeley glanced up. “Why, Highgate, is that a compliment on our marriage?”

“Take it as you will.” Hart waved a noncommittal hand in the air. He avoided meeting Berkeley’s eyes.

Berkeley settled further into his chair. “I shall take it as a compliment, then. I have a feeling Sarah would like nothing more than to help you with such an endeavor. She fancies herself a matchmaker these days.”

“Will you two be staying in London for the Season?”

“Yes. Sarah wants to stay and I, of course, will support her, at least as long as I can remain in the same town as your father without him calling me out.” A smirk settled on Berkeley’s face.

Hart eyed the remaining liquid in his glass. “I’ll be happy to play the role of peacemaker to the best of my ability.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Berkeley inclined his head toward his brother-in-law.

“Who else is Sarah matchmaking for?” Hart sloshed the brandy in the bottom of the glass.

“She’s not merely matchmaking. No. To hear her tell it, she has an important mission this Season.”

Hart set down the glass and pulled another section of the Times off the table and began scanning it. He’d talked enough about marriage for one day. Odious topic. “A mission? What mission?” he asked, merely to be polite.

“To find Meg Timmons a husband.”

Hart startled in surprise, grasping the paper so tightly it tore in the middle. Tossing it aside, he reached for his glass and gulped the last of his brandy.

Meg Timmons. He knew Meg Timmons. She was Sarah’s closest friend, the daughter of his father’s mortal enemy, and a woman with whom Hart had experienced an incident last summer that he’d been seriously trying to forget.

Copyright © 2017 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

Author Bio:

Valerie Bowman
VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.

No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes

No Other Duke Will Do (Windham Brides, #3)No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Actually, 4.5 stars rounded up to 5
Series: Windham Brides #3
Publication Date: 11/7/17

Delightfully, refreshingly, deliciously different! I loved this book.

Both lead characters are very nice, very loving, very honorable – just very, very good people. They don’t have any deep, dark secrets. Both are honest and up-front about their issues and don’t try to hide those from the other. They actually talk with each other and even more miraculously – they listen to each other. They both have warm, loving, supportive and caring families. Now, I know some of you are groaning and saying – How boring – but it isn’t. It is a very good story.

I think the book is about actually ‘seeing’ another person. We interact with people every day – our boss, our friend, the clerk at the store, etc. but do we actually see them or just the title and what we ‘think’ they are. One of my favorite characters in this book is Griffin, Julian’s younger brother. In most stories, Griffin would be hidden away and kept secret, but Julian doesn’t do that. Julian and Griffin have a really special relationship that says so much about the person that Julian is.

We also have the required villain of the story. He’s out to ruin Julian because Julian is preventing him from getting something that he wants. We even watch the villain grow and evolve – actually to the point where I think he might just be the hero in the next, and final, book in the series. That book should be out in March of next year.

The one thing I missed was seeing more of the Windham cousins. They are always entertaining and I miss them. There really wasn’t much room for them in the story since it took place at a house party, but it would still have been nice to have a visit. Maybe they could have at least shown up at the auction or something.

I have read and liked all of the books in this series. You can see my reviews for them here:

The Trouble With Dukes
Too Scot To Handle

Please check out more of my reviews at:
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“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.”

The Highlander’s Princess Bride by Vanessa Kelly

The Highlander's Princess Bride (The Improper Princesses, #3)The Highlander’s Princess Bride by Vanessa Kelly

Series: The Improper Princesses, #3

Release Date: October 31, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this installment of The Improper Princesses!

Victoria Knight is and governess and the natural daughter of the Prince Regent and Aden’s half-sister, after landing herself in a bit of trouble at her last post, she turned to Sir Dominick for help.

Sir Dominick suggests that Victoria take a position in Scotland while he and her brother straighten out her problem. But he recommends that Victoria keep her reason for taking a post in Scotland to herself. Upon arriving at the Kendrick’s castle, Victoria is not sure that she is better off in Scotland and that maybe it would be better to return to London and face the consequences her actions.

Nicholas Kendrick, Earl of Arnprior needs help, he has returned home after years of war to complete chaos. His estate needs attention, his grandfather is a menace and his brothers have been running wild. When Sir Dominick recommends Victoria to him, he jumps at the chance to hire her.

After a very rocky start, Victoria settles in to life with the Kendricks and starts to feel at home with the rough and rowdy bunch of highlanders, especially Nick. When Victoria begins to unravel Nick’s secrets, they grow closer and end up being caught in a compromising position. Nick immediately suggests they marry, but Victoria has secrets of her own and tries her best to keep Nick at an arm’s length.

Nick is not the sort of man that will take no for an answer, he wants Victoria, she is light and joy in a life that has known too much grief, betrayal, pain and darkness. He sets out to woo her and in doing so, shares his deepest, darkest secrets. When Victoria finally agrees to marry him and it appears that they will get their HEA, everything goes wrong. Nick learns Victoria’s secret and is deeply hurt and lashes out at her. For her part, Victoria accepts his vitriol and breaks their engagement. But before she can return to London, problems arise and someone from Victoria’s past is determined to see her dead.

This was a great story, it is well written and flows wonderfully. The story is chock full of emotion and humor, as well as steamy loves scenes and tense life or death moments. This story takes off at a gallop and doesn’t slow down until the very last page. It was truly the best book in the series and I highly recommend it. It could be read as a stand alone title, but I recommend reading the books in order for maximum reader enjoyment.

I certainly hope Ms. Kelly is planning a series for the Kendrick brothers, because it would be vastly unfair to introduce me to 6 handsome highlanders and then leaving me hanging!!

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

The Scot’s Bride by Paula Quinn

The Scot's Bride (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs Book #6)The Scot’s Bride by Paula Quinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Macgregors: Highland Heirs #6
Publication Date: 10/31/17

Endearing, well-developed and relatable characters populate this book. It is definitely a nice read. I did notice a couple of what I guess I’d call ‘plot holes’, but, if those had been done differently, I would have been reading a different book – and I liked this one.

Charlotte (Charlie) Cunningham is an enchanting, lovely young woman who has absolutely no use for men whatsoever. She has learned a hard lesson from her father and brothers. You can’t trust any man – not even those who are supposed to love and care for you. She had loved Kendrick forever and her father and brothers murdered him (he was barely 15) to keep her from marrying him. Five years later she still passionately hates them and is just biding her time before she leaves for good. First, however, she must find a treatment and/or cure for her sister’s asthma. To do that, she sneaks out at night and visits taverns and other locations seeking out visiting physicians.

Patrick MacGregor is a charming rogue whose smile and charming words can get him out of almost any situation. If the smile and words aren’t enough he is a strong, quick almost invincible warrior. He has always avoided responsibility because he loved being able to go when and where he wanted with no entanglements. Currently, he is on his way to visit with his uncles (Ferguson’s) when he stops in a tavern for a meal and a drink and sees a shadowy figure move through the tavern – and their eyes lock.

Charlie’s family have long been enemies with the Ferguson’s and that feud renewed when Charlie’s father ordered Kendrick to be murdered. The Ferguson’s retaliated by attacking the Cunningham’s and Charlie’s mother was one of the casualties.

When Patrick is captured by the Cunningham’s he claims to be a Campbell and is welcomed into the fold. Charlie’s greedy, arrogant father hopes for a marriage match between her and the powerful Campbell’s. As Patrick and Charlie spend time together, more and more of their shields drop. Can they drop those shields and find their HEA or will an unexpected twist tear them apart? You’ll just have to read the story to see what happens.

Now – to me, one of the biggest holes has to do with Elsie’s illness. The Fergusons and Cunningham’s were friends before Kendrick was murdered – or at least the mothers were. So, why wouldn’t they have known of her illness (she’d had it since early childhood) and they could have offered the cure? She was also secretly seeing their son and surely he would have known. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

I hate that Robbie Dunbar died and I saw absolutely no reason for it.

We saw little of Charlie’s father. I think he would have been better featured as an antagonist. He was just sort of there and very dull. You would have thought he would have been a bigger villain. You have to wonder what he thought of Kendrick being found alive and what he would have done about it.

I liked Duff, but some reviewers didn’t. He is a tortured, very tortured, young man. He’s lost the love of his sister. He is guilty of a sin by omission rather than by commission. That doesn’t make him any less guilty, but it does make him at least a tad more sympathetic. Maybe he’ll get his redemption in the next book.

I would have liked to see more of Patrick’s parents toward the end of the book. The reception back on Skye was just a little too vague.

“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.”

Bound to a Spy by Sharon Cullen

Bound to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies, #2)Bound to a Spy by Sharon Cullen
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: All the Queen’s Spies, #2

Release Date: October 24, 2017

Rose Turner is a fish out of water in Mary’s court, she would rather be running free outside than engaging in gossip and doing embroidery. Every chance she gets, she slips away, one night upon returning to the castle, she overhears a plot to kill the Queen’s husband, shocked she runs away, not realizing she dropped her shawl.

Will Sheffield is a spy for Queen Elizabeth, he is at court under the pretense of being a childhood friend of the king. He saw Rose enter and drop her shawl, but was not able to retrieve it before Lord Lysle exits the room. Worried for her safety, he garners an introduction and they form a friendship of sorts.

Rose has been sent to court to find a husband, but her family is neither wealthy or noble, so she is surprised when Lord Lysle takes an interest in her. She is still struggling with what to do with the information she overheard and is unsure who she can trust. When she revisits the location of the secret meeting, trying to learn who was speaking, she is caught by Will.

Desperate to keep her safe, but unable to disclose his mission and unwilling to let her be a causality, Will decides to share some of his information with Rose, including Lord Lysle’s involvement. Rose is hurt when she learns the “truth” about Will and tells him to leave her alone.

Will doesn’t understand why he can’t let Rose go and approaches her again in a few days. There is something between them and he isn’t ready to let it go. They share some passionate encounters, but Will knows he will be leaving soon and cannot offer marriage to Rose.

When Rose finally decides what she must do with the information she overheard, everything goes horribly wrong for her.

When Will learns that Rose is missing, nothing will stop him from finding her. He knows he cannot ask his fellow spies to help him, so he goes to her family. Once Rose is safe again, it becomes clear that she will not be able to remain in Scotland and Will will have to make a decision.

This was a really good story, it was well written and the story flowed nicely with a lot of violence, some steamy-ish love scenes, a lot of intrigue and some very tense, nail-biting moments and finally a hard earned HEA. I would have liked another chapter or an epilogue with their life in England, but even without that, I enjoyed this book.

This is the second book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title and I am happy to recommend it.

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

The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake

The Scandalous Flirt (Cinderella Sisterhood, #6)The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Cinderella Sisterhood Series #6
Publication Date: 10/31/17

It’s magically delicious! Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I had read some very negative reviews of this book so I started reading with some trepidation. Imagine my delight to find that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I didn’t interpret the things others had complained about in the same way they did. Yes, there were some things that weren’t acceptable for the Regency period, but she was ‘in disguise’ and she was already a ruined woman anyway.

Eight years ago, Aurora Paxton was a beautiful, lively, intelligent, romantic and very naïve young woman in the middle of her first season. She was always surrounded by a horde of admirers – until everything changed in the blink of an eye. She was caught in a compromising position with a man who had pursued her relentlessly – professing his love. Then, when they were caught and her father demanded marriage, they found out he was married. So, she was banished to live in a small cottage by the sea with her aunt. She was totally banished from society and her family as well.

So here I have to say that I think her father was a huge hypocrite. Aurora always speaks of him as being loving toward her, etc. but I cannot reconcile that with his treatment of Aurora. I can’t explain why I call him a hypocrite with spoiling a part of the story, but his treatment of her just didn’t ring true.

Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell, is deeply in debt thanks to his profligate father. All of his life he has done his best to distance himself from acting any way at all like his father. Most people viewed him as stodgy and cold because of his always perfect behavior. He also admired Aurora in that season, but from a distance, because he knew she was too lively and undisciplined to be the right woman for him. So, when the scandal engulfed her and she was shipped off, he wrote her out of his life.

The book blurb makes it sound like Lucas had concocted some wild scheme to bring Aurora back to London so he could rehabilitate her reputation. That is NOT the case. Lucas had nothing to do with bringing her back – he has to marry for money and had already picked out the heiress he planned to make an offer for.

In the first couple of chapters you have – a fairy godmother, a prick from the spindle of a spinning wheel, ruby slippers, and a wicked step-mother. What a mixture of fairy tales. But – after that, those references clear up and it is on to a nice story.

I liked Lucas and Aurora, but Lucas drove me nuts sometimes. I do understand why he kept clinging to marrying the heiress – she was the only way to pay his debts, save his estates and provide for his mother and brother. The poor boy really was caught between a rock and a hard place!

There was an HEA for Aurora’s younger sister included in the book and that was nice. What I wish had also been in the story had been an HEA for Lucas’ brother – maybe with the heiress Lucas was planning to marry and an Epilogue set a year or two later. It would be nice to see the couples and their growing families.

“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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