Author Archives for Tracy

About Tracy

Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Maiden LaneOnce Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series: Maiden Lane, #12.5

Release Date: November 14, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought this was such a sweet book! Mary Whitsun has been a reoccurring secondary character throughout the entire series and it was so nice to see her get a HEA.

Mary Whitsun is an orphan, former of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in St. Giles but now she is a nursemaid for Lord and Lady Claire. Mary has spent her entire life not knowing her real family, but all that changes the day she meets Henry, Viscount Blackwell.

Henry spies Mary at a bookshop and mistakes her for his fiancé Lady Joanna, but he soon realizes his error and is convinced that Mary is the long lost twin of the Earl of Angrove and Henry’s true fiancé

Mary thinks Henry is just a rake looking to seduce her and refuses to give him her name or her direction. She returns home and tries to forget about the handsome lord. But the next day, Henry shows up at the Claire’s home and he is not alone. He brings with him the Countess of Angrove and her mother the dowager Marchioness. The ladies are sure that Mary is the lost twin, Lady Cecilia and ask her to come home with them. Lord Claire intervenes and tells the ladies to return the next day for Mary’s decision.

Mary can’t believe how much her life has changed and after a visit from her sister Joanna, she decides to take her rightful place and agrees to marry Henry.

Henry is thrilled, he likes Joanna, but Mary sparks something primal in him. As they grow closer, they both begin to fall in love.

But just when it seems Mary will get her fairy tale ending, a surprise twist changes everything and a HEA seems impossible.

I loved this story and it was so fitting that Lord and Lady Claire played such a big role in the book, it brought the entire series full circle. The book is short, but well written and beautifully paced. if you have been following this series, you MUST read this book, but if you haven’t, it could easily be a standalone title. I highly recommend this book and while I am sad that the series is over, I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter ending.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC*

Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night by Stacy Reid

Duchess by Day, Mistress by NightDuchess by Day, Mistress by Night by Stacy Reid

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Rebellious Desires, #1

Release Date: November 13, 2017

After finishing the book and mulling it over, I upped my rating to a 4.5, rounded up.

I really enjoyed this book, Georgiana and Rhys are both extremely likable characters.

Georgiana is the widowed Duchess of Hardcastle, she is admired by the ton, a patron of the arts, a loving and devoted mother to her young son and she is restless. She is being pressured by her family to remarry, but what she longs for is passion. When a nursemaid in her employ disappears without a trace and all her efforts to find the woman fail, Georgiana is introduced to Rhys Tremayne, “The Broker”. Georgiana is immediately attracted to Rhys, but an affair with him would mean social ruin for not only her, but her family and her young son.

Rhys is a self made man, he has clawed his way up from the gutters and collects secrets which he uses to barter for favors – he is sort of the regency era “Godfather”. He has used his talent to build a fortune and owns several profitable businesses. He has the wealth and the power to topple governments, but he doesn’t have what he wants the most – the ability to introduce his sisters to the ton. When he meets Georgiana for the first time, he is stunned by his reaction to her, he wants her more than anything he has ever wanted in his life, but she is so far out of his social realm that he knows that there could never be anything between them. He helps her find her missing nursemaid and asks for nothing in return.

Weeks later Georgiana is in need of Rhys’ help again, but this time he does ask for a favor. He asks Georgiana to sponsor his sister and she readily agrees. They finally give into the barely contained attraction between them and begin a scorching HOT love affair. They are extremely discreet, but when there is a caricature in the papers implying Georgiana and Rhys are involved, she backs away from him – but she can’t seem to let him go.

When Rhys confronts her and learns a secret about her, he asks her to marry him, shocking both of them. Georgiana turns him down, afraid of what society will do to both of them and their families and they end their affair.

Weeks pass and Georgiana decides that she is willing to face the censure of the ton, if it means she can be with Rhys – but it appears that Rhys has moved on. Can these two have a HEA? You will have to read the book to find out.

I thought this was one of the best books I have read by this author, it is well written, flows perfectly, has super HOT love scenes, wonderful secondary characters, believable obstacles keeping our lovers apart and finally a sigh worthy ending. Ms. Reid has come a long way in her accuracy of titles and formal address, but there were still a few mistakes in the book and I didn’t 100% buy that the ton would so willingly accept his sister – so that is why I knocked off 1/2 a star. But I would happily recommend this book to anyone who likes a HOT historical romance.

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

The Devil of Dunakin Castle by Heather McCollum

The Devil of Dunakin Castle (Highland Isles, #4)The Devil of Dunakin Castle by Heather McCollum

Series: Highland Isles, #4

Release Date: November 13, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I begin my review, I have to say that this book had the absolutely best dedication I have ever read and that dedication is reiterated in the note from the author at the end of the book. It was beautifully done and really touched my heart.

This book has all the elements I love in a story: humor, action/adventure, a misunderstood hero, steamy love scenes and a heroine that you can’t help rooting for.

Grace has been a secondary character in the previous books in this series, she is the sister of Ava, the heroine of the first book ( The Beast of Aros Castle ). Grace has always been portrayed as meek and even a bit weak, she has many fears and considers herself a coward, but inside she longs to be strong and have adventures of her own. When an opportunity to leave Aros arises, she jumps at the chance to leave and secretly hopes that she will find her own adventure. She leaves with an escort to travel to Barra to help Mairi with the birth of her child. But on the way, she and her escort are caught in a storm and take shelter at the inn. When her escort Thomas becomes ill, the healer in Grace takes over and she ventures out in the storm to find herbs to treat Thomas. But she gets turned around in the blizzard and soon finds herself lost and alone.

Keir MacKinnon is on a mission, he is on his way to Aros to bring back Mairi MacLean the famed healer. Keir is the brother to the chief and his nephew is gravely ill, he will find the MacLean healer and bring her to the Isle of Skye – no matter what. Keir is known as the Devil of Dunakin, the fierce warrior and executioner of his clan. When Keir hears a scream while on the way to the village, he tells his friend Brodie to go ahead to the inn and turns back to investigate.
What he finds is Grace surrounded by wolves. Injured while trying to save her and then knocked unconscious, Grace knows she cannot leave him to die. She tends his wounds and those of his horse and then begins to make a shelter to protect them from the storm. When Keir awakes, he is shocked to find Grace on him and asks if she is an angel. When he realizes that he is not dead, he leads them to a deserted cabin. Over the course of the storm, Grace cares for Keir and when he finally wakes, she is smitten. They spend time to together and the attraction grows. Just as things begin to heat up between them, Brodie shows up.

Grace learns that Keir is planning on taking her with him and is furious. But along the way, she learns much about Keir and is shocked by the way people treat him. She tries to stay angry, but her heart goes out to this man.

When they arrive at Dunakin, Grace faints at the sight greeting her, but when she recovers, she agrees to treat Keir’s nephew, Lachlan. But the news is not good, not only is the boy sick, but now his father, Rab is also showing signs of the illness. When Grace learns the cause, she has no one she can trust except Keir. And she is not sure she really knows who Keir is, is he the sweet, gentle man who saved her or is he the killer his clan deems him to be. Grace decides that she does trust Keir and together they form a plan to weed out the villain.

The plan works perfectly, except it also implicates Keir’s sister and Rab orders Keir to execute her. Grace is horrified for Keir and seeks him out. When she finds him, she learns his deepest secrets and knows that she loves him. She begs him to refuse to kill Dara, knowing that it will be the act that finally destroys him. Keir loves Grace, but he feels there is no future for her with the “Devil” and tells Brodie to return her to her family.

Desperate to save Keir, she seeks out the one person she believes will help her and learns of a clan legend – that the Devil will be killed when an Angel pierces his heart. To save the man she loves, Grace will have to overcome her own fears.

This was such a great story, the book is well written and flows great, has lots of action, steamy love scenes and a great ending. While this book is the fourth book in the series, I think it could easily be read as a standalone title with no real problems. But, if you would like a better understanding of Grace’s character, I would recommend reading the first book (The Beast of Aros Castle ), before you read this story.

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

A Knight’s Temptation by Lana Williams

A Knight's Temptation (Falling For A Knight Book 2)A Knight’s Temptation by Lana Williams

Series: Falling for a Knight, #2

Release Date: November 7, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I was thrilled to learn that Ms. Williams was finally writing the follow up to A Knight’s Quest and could wait to delve right back into her medieval world of knights and ladies!

This story begins about two weeks after the end of A Knight’s Quest, Ilisa Douglas is the sister of Sophia (the heroine from A Knight’s Quest) and sister of the former governor of Berwick is in hiding with her younger brother Alec and Braden. She has a serious aversion to English knights and wants nothing more than to see Braden healed and on his way, so she can take her vows and retire to St. Mary’s. She feels honor bound to stay with Braden until he heals and her sister returns to take Alec with her to England.

Braden is the cousin of Garrick (the hero of A Knight’s Quest) and son of William and Christiana (Believe In Me – a fact that I remembered while I was reading this book!). Braden was injured while saving Ilisa and Sophia from an assassination attempt. Now that he is recovering, he wants to learn why Lord Graham is trying to kill the Douglas’ and who else might be involved. Little by little he regains his strength and tries to fight his attraction to Ilisa. Braden possesses the same gift of healing as his mother, a secret he guards closely, but a secret that may already be out, as he had used his gift in front of Alec. Using his gift drains him and in his weaken state could kill him, but Braden cannot let anyone suffer if he is able to help them. He is truly a good and honorable man.
When Ilisa and Braden learn that Lord Graham is having a tournament to celebrate his daughter’s birthday, Braden decides to go and see what he can learn. Ilisa and Alec also want to go and after meeting with the Prioress of St. Mary’s, Braden grudgingly agrees to let them accompany him. The Prioress helps them by giving them an invitation and new identities, but in turn she demands that they marry before they leave, assuring them that it will be easy to annul later. Doubtful, but needing to gain entry to the keep, they agree.

They travel to Lord Graham’s estate and along the way, Ilisa begins to realize her assumptions about Braden where wrong and that even though his is an English knight, he is a good man. The more she is with him, the more she begins to rethink her plans to take vows. She wonders if there could be a future with the man she is coming to admire.

When they reach the estate, they learn that Lord Graham is part of the Sentinels (the group of Scots looking to place their own man on the throne), but they still don’t know why he wants the Douglas siblings dead. They each play their role, trying to glean more information and the identities of Graham’s conspirators. When Ilisa befriends Arabela (Lord Graham’s daughter) they get too close to the truth and someone tries to kill Ilisa, Braden is forced to use his gift to save her. But too many people saw her injured and suspicion begins to take root.

When Chanse (Braden’s brother) shows up uninvited, Braden is overjoyed. Chanse enters the competition and tries to help Braden and Ilisa find out who Lord Graham is working with and to divert attention from Braden.

Braden knows he loves Ilisa, but is not sure about her feelings and with the danger they are in, he decides to wait until they are back in Berwick before he talks to her. But Ilisa has figured out Braden’s secret and is humbled that he risked his life to save her. She now knows that she loves him and would like to have a real marriage – but first they have to finish their mission. When they attend the final feast, Ilisa learns who tried to kill her. She tells Braden and they decide to leave the next morning. But when they are confronted by the villain and he uses Alec to force Braden to use his gift to save him and things go from bad to worse. Braden and Ilisa go to the keep to meet with Lord Graham and discover that Alec escaped. They leave to search for him and finally decide to leave and look for him on the road. When they find him and Braden heals him, he is drained and they are forced to stop so he can rest. But Lord Graham is not done with them yet and Braden is forced to make a choice to which there is no happy ending.

I loved this book, it was well written, flowed nicely, had plenty of action and intrigue and while it was not as steamy as I like, the love scenes were well done and appropriate for the story. Braden is a wonderful hero and is truly the shining star of this book.

This book is part of a series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title with no confusion to the reader. I was also excited to learn that Chanse’s story will be next and is scheduled to publish next spring!!

Deirdre’s True Desire by Heather McCorkle

Deirdre's True Desire (Emerald Belles, #3)Deirdre’s True Desire by Heather McCorkle

Series: Emerald Belles, #3

Release Date: November 7, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Deirdre and Sadie arrive in California eager to reunite with fellow widow Cat (Courting the Corporal) and begin building the winery they envisioned.

However the news is not good, Ainsworth, a local landowner wants the widows lands and has already tried to stop Cat from arriving in time to claim their land. Upon failing to kill Cat, Ainsworth employs other means to steal their land. If they do not have houses on all three lots by Spring, they will have to forfeit their claims. Ainsworth convinces everyone to refuse to sell the widows lumber and will not let them cross his land to bring any in. Desperate the widows must come up with another plan to get lumber and keep their land.

Deirdre comes up with a plan, under the guise of planning a wedding for Cat and Rick, she means to lull Ainsworth into a sense of ease, all while they sneak lumber right under his nose and begin to build their houses.

To make things more interesting, Deirdre meets two men, both to whom she is attracted, but she is not sure either is what she is looking for in a husband. After the fiasco of her first marriage, she is firm in what she is looking for in a man, she wants nothing to do with a man with ties to high society, she would prefer a working man, someone who would accept her as a partner and not treat her like a child that needs protecting. She is also looking for a man who is not afraid of passion, she was stifled in her first marriage and has no desire to relive that nightmare. Two men seem to have potential, Dylan the ranch hand working for Rick and Kinan the owner of the inn she is staying at. But while she finds both men attractive, only Kinan shares her interests, too bad he is so proper!

Kinan has a secret and he is sure that Deirdre will be disgusted when she learns of it, but what he doesn’t know is Deirdre has secrets of her own.

As Deirdre and Kinan work together to build her home, she becomes more attracted to him and wonders if he is really as proper as she first thought, maybe he would accept her once he knew the truth, but too much is at stake for her and her friends to risk letting him know.

When Dylan makes his interest known, Deirdre has to admit that she has feelings for Kinan and tries to discourage Dylan’s attentions. During Cat’s engagement ball, after dancing with Kinan and getting a surprise proposal from Ainsworth, Deirdre escapes the ball to get some air and in doing so learns Kinan’s secret. Instead of being disgusted, Deirdre is relieved, because she knows now that Kinan can be trusted with her secret. When he finds her, she shares the truth with him and it seems that these two are well on their way to a HEA.

But before they can act on their feelings, Dylan arrives with the terrible news – the widow’s houses are all afire. By the time they arrive, Deirdre’s house is almost gone and to make matters worse, Dylan is injured fighting the fire. Deirdre is heartbroken, with winter setting in, there is no way to get more lumber and it seems that her dreams will be shattered.

But help comes from a surprising source and again Kinan shows Deirdre that he will do anything to support her dreams and things between them progress. But their budding relationship will be tested again when Dylan heals and confronts Deirdre. That confrontation leads to a final confrontation with Ainsworth and Dylan’s secrets will be revealed.

I thought the story was well written, but I would not recommend reading this book without having read Courting the Corporal first, I also had mixed feelings about Deirdre, I have nothing against a strong, independent woman, but for most of the book Deirdre came across as indecisive and wanton – she is practically drooling over the men and seems more like a cat in heat than the modern no-nonsense woman she claims to be. I would also agree with another reviewer who said that the graphic love scene came out of nowhere – because while I have no problem with a graphic love scene, there was no real build up to it – they don’t even kiss until well past the 3/4 point of the book and then BAM! they are having sex. The scene was well done, but the timing didn’t seem right. I also found the final confrontation with Ainsworth completely anti-climatic. But many of the lingering questions I had at the end of Courting the Corporal were answered in this book and I loved the relationship between Deirdre, Sadie and Cat.

I really enjoyed the book and having read the previous book I was thrilled to see Cat, Rick and Sadie again and very happy to see Ainsworth get his comeuppance – I would happily recommend this book but would highly recommend reading at least Courting the Corporal before starting this book.

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

Third Son’s A Charm by Shana Galen

Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors, #1)Third Son’s a Charm by Shana Galen

Series: The Survivors, #1

Release Date: November 7,2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great start to a new series!

This was such a fun book to read and almost impossible to put down.

Ewan Mostyn aka Protector aka the Viking is the third son of the Earl of Pembroke. He has returned from the war a hero, he was part of an elite group of men who took the most impossible missions and survived. Ewan is a man of few words and even fewer desires – a place to sleep, the opportunity to bash heads and food are all he really wants or needs to be happy. But beneath his stoic demeanor is a man that has been hurt and doubts his own self worth. I LOVED Ewan – LOVED HIM! Currently Ewan is bashing heads for a living at a gaming hell, but when he is approached by the Duke of Ridlington with an intriguing offer of employment, he decides to take the job.

Lady Lorraine Caldwell aka Lorrie is the only daughter of the Duke of Ridlington and she is madly in love with Francis Mostyn, too bad her father has declined his offer for her hand, so Lorrie decides to elope. She may have failed the first time, but she is in no way giving up! But her plans are thwarted when her father introduces her to Ewan – her new bodyguard and the cousin to Francis. Lorrie still isn’t ready to give up and even though she is captivated by Ewan, she firmly reminds herself that this man was a beast to her true love and she will outwit him! She will keep Ewan on his toes and is a total delight!

The story is sweet and as Ewan and Lorrie begin to have deeper feelings for each other, the reader really saw the struggle Ewan felt, his feelings of inadequacy, his longing for what could never be and his growing feelings for Lorrie. Lorrie also matures during the course of the story, she finally accepts that she never really loved Francis and wants a man that will fight for her, she hopes that Ewan will be that man, but he seems to be pushing her away.

When Lorrie is kidnapped, Ewan realizes that he loves her and nothing will stop him from finding her and keeping her forever.

The story was well written and flowed wonderfully, there is a great cast of secondary characters that add some extremely amusing moments, a secondary romance, secrets, action, steamy love scenes and a beautiful ending! I would be happy to recommend this book and I am looking forward to the rest of the series!

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

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.

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