Monthly Archives: January 2018

Miss Tagete’s Sweet Sisters Society by Charlotte Stone

Taygete's Spinster3.5 Stars – Rounded down to 3
Series:  Spinster’s Society #6
Publication Date:  1/31/18

I have read and enjoyed all of the books in this series, but the last book and this one have left me . . . wanting.  I wanted more – I just didn’t ‘feel’ the solutions and wanted to see some other outcomes.  Again, I enjoyed the story, but it sort of felt like wanting pizza for dinner and having to eat asparagus instead.  I just didn’t care for the ‘solutions’ that really weren’t.  Several avenues for the solution were discussed, but evidently not pursued since there wasn’t any further mention of them – for instance – getting the King to recognize the marriage.  This almost total lack of action and involvement just doesn’t sound like the kind of effort the Men of Nashwood would normally make.  There was also only a sort-of halfway end to the plot.  The last two books just haven’t been as good as the first four.  The pairing in the last book was totally improbable and this one is improbable as well – not as improbable as the last, but still improbable.  Hugh is a Marquess – very rich and very handsome, he doesn’t need to marry for money, but his mother’s first choice of bride for him is the daughter of a very rich mine owner.  Just not probable, but none of the books are – maybe that is why I enjoy them.  I’ll be looking hopefully toward the next one!

If you have read the previous books you will know who the Men of Nashwood are and how they got their name – but just to remind you.  There are ten men who met at school and formed a strong bond.  They were all from rich families, but many had unsupportive or uncaring families or had already lost their families and assumed a title, etc.  They looked out for and helped each other.  They were a mix of aristocracy and rich landed gentry.  The gentlemen are:

  1. Emmett Starr, Earl of Ashwick – featured in book 1 with Lorena Cullip
  2. Calvin Lockwood, Very rich landed gentry – featured in book 2 with Alice Wilkins
  3. Francis Cullip, Duke of Valdeston – featured in book 3 with Genie
  4. Morris Kidd, Duke of Cort – featured in book 4 with Sophia
  5. Rollo Kerry, Rich landed gentry – featured in book 5 with Florence Crew (a lady’s maid)
  6. Hugh Vance – Marquess of Edvoy – featured in this book with Taygete as heroine
  7. Sir William Tift
  8. Aaron Walsh, Earl of Jeanshire
  9. Julius Hext, Marquess of Darvess
  10. Franklin Lockwood, Very Rich Landed Gentry

Through the other books in the series, we learned that Hugh is a widower.  In this book, we learn the circumstances of the marriage and the loss of his wife and daughter.  We also learn that he was always in love with his wife’s sister Taygete Bellenger.  He was only 18 (say what) when he married Maia and he did it because his mother chose her.  Something about the timing and ages sounded off to me – or I missed something – If he was 18, that meant that Taygete was only 15 or so when they met.

It seems everybody feels responsible for the deaths of Maia and Artemis and they are all keeping it to themselves.  Then, as stories begin to be told and information shared, they discover a bigger plot – against the entire Bellenger family.  There are some absolutely heartbreaking revelations in this regard and that is part of my dissatisfaction with the solutions.  Titan, Taygete’s older brother suffers a terrible blow and there is no resolution for this.  It could have been so easily done, yet the author chose to let it ride.  That did not make me a happy camper – thus the rounding down from 3.5 to 3 rather than up to 4.  The final solution to the villain was sort of just mentioned in passing – no chase – no turmoil – no suspense — just a blurb that Hugh had found evidence and that Livingston had been thrown in prison and was being transported to Australia.  Say what?

The story itself is sweet.  Hugh and Taygete had been drawn together for a long time, but since Hugh had been married to Taygete’s sister Maia, they couldn’t marry (it was against the law in England).  So, each fought the attraction to the other – but neither had married anyone else.  Their journey to expressing their love is sweet and I just loved Hugh.  He’s long been one of my favorites in the series.  So – how do they end up with their HEA and marry when it is against the law?  Well – they just marry.  According to the author, and I have no clue if it was really possible or not, they could marry, but any judge at any time could declare the marriage invalid.  There was also the question of heirs and inheritance.  That wasn’t answered either.

While this is an enjoyable read, if you like all the loose ends tied up, all of the villains to be punished and all the good guys to get HEA’s, then this book will leave you wanting.

Please check out my reviews at:

“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.”

Earl of Sunderland by Aubrey Wynne

Earl of Sunderland (Wicked Earls' Club, #4)Earl of Sunderland by Aubrey Wynne

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars – rounded up to 5
Series: Wicked Earl’s Club #4
Publication Date: 1/30/18

I loved this book! I know the name of the series is Wicked Earl’s Club, but there wasn’t a wicked bone in Kit’s body. He was a sweet and honorable man – his brother, however – now he fits the name!

Carson and Christopher Roker are twins who had a solitary childhood and were always there to keep each other company. Carson was the heir who didn’t want to be – he was undisciplined, full of tricks and fun and Christopher was the steady half of the two. Each was the completing half of the other. As adults, Carson stayed that immature, undisciplined, fun-loving young man and Christopher (Kit) joined the military and stayed the steady young man he’d always been. Carson didn’t want to inherit the title – he often tried to talk his brother into trading places.

Carson felt forced into marriage but came to care for his young and mistreated bride. He’d even begun to settle down and was trying to be a better man. He and his wife shared a secret – they were going to become parents and Carson was very happy about it. For the first time in weeks, he went out and got drunk – and he had an accident and died.

Just after the battle of Waterloo, Kit awoke from a nightmare. He’d dreamed of his brother’s death. He plainly saw him on a horse and his neck was broken. Kit was filled with foreboding. Then, several days later, he got a letter from his father telling him to come home and that his brother had died.

Grace Beaumont was fifteen when she lost her mother in childbirth. Grace was in the room with her mother and had witnessed her death. Grace’s father fell apart and there was a new baby to care for, so Grace made them her whole life. She saw that they were cared for and never had an unanswered need or want. At the same time, she vowed she’d never marry because she valued the independence she had and she was afraid of childbirth.

Kit and Grace met (for the second time) on the road to Kit’s home. Grace was going to visit her cousin (Carson’s wife) and Kit was just returning home. Neither Kit nor Grace was looking for a spouse or even love – but – sometimes love finds you. It was fun getting to know them and watching them find their HEA.

Sammy is the young brother Grace has raised – and you’ll just love him. He’s so bright, funny and absolutely precocious. The interactions between Sammy and Grace are priceless – as are those between Sammy and Kit. For instance – there is an exchange between Grace and Sammy where she is speaking to him about loudly interrupting her and not being patient. She’s told him that he should apologize to her. The scene is – Grace says to Sammy — “You should wait patiently until I lift my head.” He stuck out his bottom lip. “I’m sorry if you thought my patience was too loud.”

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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.”

Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

Beyond Scandal and Desire (Sins for All Seasons, #1)Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Sin for All Seasons, #1

Release Date: January 30, 2018

WOW, Just WOW! Anyone who follows my reviews knows I read A LOT of books, but rarely do I want to cry at the end of book as much I as did this one – not because it was sad, but because it was over! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book! Ms. Heath has a way with words, she has the ability to draw a reader in and force them to become invested in her characters – their joy is your joy, their pain is your pain, their troubles become your troubles – it is a rare treat to find an author who has this talent and an amazing gift for anyone lucky enough to read the book.

This is the first book in the Sins for All Seasons Series, the series is centered around the Widow Ettie Trewlove and the children she raised, who are all illegitimate cast-offs. Ms. Heath sets up the series and introduces us to the future characters, but never does it feel like this book is just a set up for the series, Mick Trewlove and Lady Aslyn Hastings are truly the stars and the main focus of the book.

Mick knows that the Duke of Hedley is his father and wants to be acknowledged as such. He is a wealthy self-made man who literally pulled himself from the gutter and forged an empire. But he longs for the respect and acceptance of the nobility, he is sure if his father would acknowledge their connection, doors would be opened to him. He has written to the duke several times, but after responding that he has no bastard to the first letter, the duke has ignored him. Mick wants his acknowledgement more than anything in the world and hatches a plan. If the duke won’t accept him, Mick will ruin his heir.

Lady Aslyn Hastings in the orphaned daughter of an earl and the ward of the Duke of Hedley. She has lived with the family since she was a young child and though it has not been officially announced, she and everyone in society assume that she will marry Hedley’s son and heir, the Earl of Kipwick and affectionately known as Kip. Aslyn has been sheltered and knows little of the world, the duchess is a recluse and extremely over protective of her. Aslyn longs for excitement and begs Kip to take her to Cremorne Gardens. This is where Mick and Aslyn meet for the first time.

Mick along with his sister Fancy are at the gardens and “happen” to run into Kip and Aslyn. Kip knows of Mick and longs to gain entrance to his brother Aiden’s club – The Cerberus Club. After a bit of friendly chatter, Mick tells Kip, he will take him to the club. Meanwhile, Aslyn is mesmerized by Mick, never has she had such a reaction to a man and it makes her question her feelings for Kip.

Over the next few days, Mick enacts his plan and plays on Kip’s weakness for gambling, he also begins to “woo” Aslyn. He plans to steal her from Kip and bring Kip to ruin, thinking he will then be able to force the duke’s hand. What he didn’t plan for was Aslyn or his reaction to her.

This is an amazing story, it is well written, flows wonderfully, there are secrets, betrayal, moments of wonder and joy, moments of immense heartache, steamy love scenes, shocking twists that have even bigger shocking twists and a truly beautiful soul-mate type love. I cannot recommend this book enough, I will definitely be re-reading this one and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

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

Falling for the Viscount by Lana Williams

Falling for the Viscount (The Seven Curses of London Book 6)Falling for the Viscount by Lana Williams
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Seven Curses of London, #6

Release Date: January 27, 2018

Spencer Campbell and Dalia Fairchild have known each other since they were children and have annoyed each other for just as long. In Dalia’s mind, Spencer is all that is proper and boring, not anything like a man she would consider spending her life with. Spencer is in fact cautious by nature, but by no means is he boring. Spencer has been working on a case for the Intelligence Office and in the course of his investigation he happens upon Dalia in a place no proper young lady should ever be!

Dalia has followed her maid to a Dance Hall located in a seedy section of London, her maid Ruth has been displaying some discontent lately and has decided to venture to the Dance Hall with her cousin Betty. Betty has been telling Ruth stories of a better life, but Dalia is sure that life involves prostitution. Worried for her maid, Dalia tries to convince her that her life will not be better if she listens to Betty, but without solid proof, Dalia fears Ruth will not believe her. Thus the trip to the Dance Hall. Dalia enters and feels uncomfortable and is more than shocked (and secretly relieved) when Spencer insists on seeing her home. She wonders why Spencer is at the Dance Hall, surely he is not there to meet a woman!

Spencer is trying to find evidence that Jack McCarthy along with his right hand man Charlie Pruett are luring and even abducting women to force them into prostitution. This cause is near and dear to the Prime Minister’s heart and success in this case could give Spencer the position and respect he longs for.

When she asks Spencer to take her to Cermore Gardens, so she can see more of what Ruth is being drawn into, he refuses. She argues that she needs to understand why her maid thinks that she would have a better life as a prostitute, she wants to go so she can present the facts and dangers to her. Spencer pulls her into an alcove and they share a kiss. Dalia is seriously reconsidering her opinion of Spencer – perhaps he is not what or who she has always believed him to be. They visit the gardens and Dalia causes a scene – one in which Spencer must rescue her from, yet again. He knows Dalia is trouble and is impulsive, but he cannot stop thinking about her.

Dalia wants to learn more about these fallen women and what options are available to them and decides to visit a home for women who are trying to leave the “business” and start a new life – what she finds is appalling, she seeks out Spencer for help and unknowingly draws more attention to herself.

Slowly these two transition from childhood nemeses to friends to much more. But the road to their HEA will not be easy, Spencer knows he cares for Dalia, but he feels that her impulsiveness will make them both unhappy in the long run. It isn’t until Dalia is placed in grave peril, that Spencer finally admits that impulsive or not, he cannot live without this woman.

This was another great installment of the Seven Curses Series, I really loved Spencer, he is a wonderful hero, he is not your typical HR hero, he is not an alpha male, but I wouldn’t really call him a beta either – he is more like a real man, not always the strongest or the smartest, but a man that would give his life for the woman he loves. The book is well written, flows nicely, has a couple of warm love scenes (no intimacy outside of marriage), a really nasty villain, cameos from Hawke, Aberland, Lettie and Sophia, action, some tense moments and finally a very sweet HEA.

I am happy to recommend this book and look forward to the next “curse”

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

Wallflower Most Wanted (Studies in Scandal, #3)Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Studies in Scandal, #3

Release Date: January 30, 2018

This installment of the Studies in Scandal series, focuses on Sophia Hastings, artist in her own right and art historian and Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle, the vicar of Little Seaford’s parish. They met in the previous book and reconnect in this book. The book opens with Sophia taking a tumble over a cliff and Ben coming to her rescue. While checking her for injuries, they overhear a plot to kill someone. Sophia immediately wants to investigate, but Ben urges caution and insists on returning her to the house. Ben agrees that the plot they overheard warrants investigation and promises to collect her belongings, check for clues and return to share his findings with her.

Even though she is injured, Sophia is determined to attend the ball at the Morgan home that night, for two reasons, one her Aunt Dahlia has asked her to see if rumors about Peter Morgan running for a seat in the commons is true and also to see if she will recognize the voices of the men she heard talking on the cliff that morning. Ben also attends the ball and is surprised to see Sophia in attendance. He helps her escape her admirers and goes to find her sister, so she can be taken home. He is waylaid by Morgan who asks him to join him in preventing Sophia from exhibiting her art at the upcoming art show, he refuses and knows he has made an enemy.

He returns home to find his brother Freddie there, the Home Office has asked him to see if Ben would look into some allegations of forgery that seem to be coming out of Little Seaford. Ben briefly wonders if Sophia is involved, but after hearing all the details, knows she is not and thinks she might be able to help him.

Morgan makes another visit to Ben and threatens to report him to the Archbishop of Canterbury if he does not stand with him against Sophia, Morgan has his own artist and doesn’t want Sophia’s work to garner more attention than Thomas Ryder, his man. Again Ben refuses and decides to call on Sophia. He and his brother call on her and discuss the forgery problem, Sophia suggests they visit the Primble’s, owners and patrons of an artist colony. There they learn that Morgan’s artist, Thomas Ryder could in fact be a forger – he has the talent. Armed with this information, Freddie returns to London. Ben returns Sophia to the house and is surprised that his brother Cameron is there – fighting with Gemma (Sophia’s sister). He and Cam leave and return to the vicarage. Ben is given a cryptic message to meet someone at Framingham’s art gallery. Restless, Sophia decides to go to the village and see if she can learn anything about the forgeries from Mr. Framingham. She goes to the gallery and is confronted by Thomas Ryder. She enrages him and as he is about to strike her, Ben intervenes. Thomas leaves and Ben and Sophia share a kiss, which is interrupted by a shout from the back room. They find Thomas standing over the dead body of Mr. Framingham.

As with the previous books, the story is well done and interwoven with a delightful mystery. This installment was just as good as the previous books, it is well written, flows nicely, has some steamy love scenes, a nasty villain, a decent mystery that doesn’t overshadow the love story, cameos from the other heiresses, several plots twists that will keep you guessing “whodunit” until the very end and finally a very sweet HEA.

This is the third book in the series, but it really could be read as a stand alone title with no problems, I would happily recommend this book and am looking forward to Gemma’s story!

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

The Traitor’s Club: Caleb by Laura Landon

The Traitor's Club: Caleb (The Traitor's Club, #4)The Traitor’s Club: Caleb by Laura Landon

Series: The Traitor’s Club, #4

Release Date: January 30, 2018

Tracy’s rating: 3.5/4 of 5 stars

Caleb Parker is the final bachelor standing in the “Traitor’s Club”. Caleb has no desire to join the ranks of the blissfully domesticated. He is happy for his “brothers”, but is perfectly content to remain single.

The story starts with a tiny thief stealing Caleb’s breakfast, he catches the child and learns that the boy is a homeless, orphan. He also learns of a woman who runs a home for orphans outside of London. Caleb takes the boy to Southern Oaks, the home run by Eleanor, the widowed Countess of Grattling.

Eleanor is being harassed by a henchman for Vince Blackboot, a crime lord in St. Giles. Blackboot has a problem with Eleanor rescuing homeless children, he wants the children, so he can sell them to workhouses and brothels. Bryant, his henchman is currently trying to claim one of the children as his own, Eleanor calls his bluff and he strikes her – he is ready to hit her again, when Caleb intervenes. After a brief misunderstanding on Eleanor’s part, she realizes that Caleb is a very decent man and offers him a job.

Caleb takes the job of guarding Eleanor and the children very seriously and saves Eleanor more than once. He is shocked by his reaction to her and tells himself that nothing can come of it – he is the son of a common laborer and she is a Countess and granddaughter of a Duke. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

Eleanor has a huge heart and an enormous capacity for love. She is equally attracted to Caleb, but has her own reasons for keeping him at arm’s length.

This is a short novella, but it packs quite a punch! There is action, angst, betrayal, steamy kisses, sweet children and a very sweet epilogue with a Traitor’s Club reunion. The only reason I didn’t give the book 5 stars is because I felt like Eleanor’s secret dragged on a little too long. This is the fourth 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*

A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch

A Devil in Scotland (No Ordinary Hero, #3)A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: No Ordinary Hero #3
Publication Date: 1/30/18

I was mesmerized by the wonderfully well-written story right through the last page. As I grew to know the characters better and better, I was drawn more deeply into their stories. The planning, plotting, writing and execution of this book was flawless from beginning to end. You’ll fall helplessly in love with Callum from the immature, misguided, wild, reckless, hurt, and angry young man of twenty through the mature, vengeful, protective and very loving man of thirty. I didn’t want the book to end, but it was a delightful wrap-up to the series. You can read this as a stand-alone book even though it is part of a series. I read the first two books and loved them, so I’m glad I read them all.

The story opens in 1806 (near Inverness, Scotland) with a gut-wrenching scene. Callum is drunk and has just returned home from a period of drinking and wenching to learn that his brother, Ian, is now engaged to Callum’s long-time friend – Rebecca. Callum realizes that maybe he cares more for Rebecca than he realized and asks her to run away with him instead. Rebecca isn’t ‘in love’ with Ian, but she does love him and thinks that he’ll be a good, safe, steady husband for her and any children they have. She cares for Callum too but is smart enough to know that the raw, immature young man he is would not be good husband material. To add fat-to-the-fire, the Duke of Dunncraigh and his son are also there that night. Callum doesn’t trust the duke and thinks that he has some nefarious scheme afoot. When Ian overhears what Callum says to Rebecca, he orders him out of the house and tells him never to return. Callum goes, but before he does, he tries one last time to warn Ian about Dunncraigh – and he tells Dunncraigh that if anything happens to Ian, he’ll be back for vengeance – to end him.

Ten years later, Callum is in Kentucky – a very rich and successful distiller. He has abided by his brothers demand and has not made a return to Scotland. After about five years, his brother had spent a great deal of money to find him, but Callum did not read the letters at all. He just had his clerk burn them as soon as they arrived. Then, a fragment of a newspaper article caught the attention of his aid – and when Callum saw it, he knew – he just knew – that Ian had been murdered – and he knew who to punish for it. So, he was off on his journey back to Scotland. His biggest concern was how many were involved – was Rebecca involved? He didn’t care who or how many – they would all pay.

When Callum arrives in Inverness, he is remembered and treated as the wayward young man he had been ten years earlier. That was good. It was better they had no idea with whom they were now dealing. Then – plans abruptly change – he discovers his six-year-old niece and immediately loves her. That means he now has to keep her safe, figure out where Rebecca fits into the picture and punish the guilty parties.

What a wonderfully engrossing tale. You’ll love Callum and Rebecca as they get to know each other as the adults they are today rather than the children they were ten years ago. You’ll also love ‘Mags’ – Lady Margaret – Callum’s niece. She’s small, intelligent, curious, precocious, and has her uncle wrapped around her finger. Waya, the wolf is also exceptional and is gracious enough to accept Mags into her pack.

Please see my reviews of the first two books by clicking the book title below:

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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.”

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