Tracy’s Reviews

The Traitor’s Club: Jeb by Laura Landon

The Traitor's Club: JebThe Traitor’s Club: Jeb by Laura Landon
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Traitor’s Club, #3

Release Date: December 26, 2017

Lieutenant Jeb Danvers is a former spy and “traitor” who has no desire to resume his work for the crown, but when Her Majesty makes him an offer that he cannot refuse, he agrees to take one last mission.

His mission is to travel to Scotland and find out who sent the Queen a jewel from a crown that was stolen years ago and assumed lost and retrieve the rest of the jewels. The package sent to the Queen was traced back to the MacFarlane clan and Jeb is expected to use his family connections to gain entrance.

Jeb’s father, the Earl of Stafford went to school with Laird MacFarlane and Jeb uses that connection to stay with him for a few days. He hopes to find the person who sent the jewels and return to England as quickly as possible.
Jeb meets Mariah MacFarlane shortly after he arrives and knows he has found the person who sent the jewel – but why? Why would Mariah turn on her own father?

Mariah MacFarlane is impressed by the Englishman sent by the Queen and out of loyalty to her English mother, she will do all she can to help him retrieve and return the jewels, but she has one condition, she goes to London with Jeb. She knows once her father learns of her deeds, there will be no going back to Scotland – – – ever.

Jeb doesn’t want Mariah to be involved, any more than she already is, but knows her life will be forfeit if she stays. Over the few days spent in her company, he has come to admire her and he cannot deny their mutual attraction, but until the jewels are safely returned to the Queen and Mariah’s father has been brought to justice, there can be no future for them.

As they travel to London, Mariah shares her reasons for turning on her father and also admits to the attraction between them, however, there is no time to explore their deeper feelings as they are being pursued by her father and his men. They narrowly escape the first attack, but are not so lucky the next time. Jeb is shot and Mariah risks her own life to save him.

They hide out at Caleb’s house and Mariah nurses Jeb back to health. They both know they are in love, but until they can find a way to keep her father away from her – there is no way they can have a real relationship. When Jeb’s father shows up at Caleb’s house, he insists that Jeb and Mariah return with him. He has a plan to draw out her father and end the standoff once and for all.
Unfortunately, things do not go as planned and Mariah is shot and in grave danger of losing her life. This is when Jeb realizes that she is the love of his life and that he cannot imagine life without her.

This was a short novella, but of the three I’ve read, this was hands down the best of the bunch. I loved this story, it is well written, flows perfectly, it has amazing depth for such a short book, it has a lot of action, some warmish love scenes, a lot of heart break, a visit from the Queen and from the other “traitors” and finally, a beautifully done HEA.

This is the third book in the series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title with no problems at all. I highly recommend this story and can’t wait for Caleb’s book!!

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

Merry Christmas, My Viscount by Emily Windsor

Merry Christmas, My Viscount (Rules of the Rogue)Merry Christmas, My Viscount by Emily Windsor

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Rules of a Rogue, #1.5

Release Date: November 28, 2017

This was a very sweet Christmas novella that is tied into the Rules of the Rogue series, but could easily be a stand alone title.

Spymaster and newly minted viscount, Asher Rainham is attending a holiday house party being hosted by his friend and former spy Lucas. Asher is a very sweet man who happens to be perceived as a bit odd by most people, he has a keen ability to read people, calculate odds and it a bit socially awkward. The book opens with Asher being perplexed by Mrs. Lily Mereworth, for the first time in too long to remember, Asher cannot read someone and it fascinates him.

Lily Mereworth is a distant cousin and dear friend of Rosalind, Lucas’ wife. She is a widow who is trying to find herself again after years of an unhappy marriage. She has concocted a list of things to accomplish before Christmas Eve, things that will help her reclaim her former joy and happiness. And she has managed to complete all but two things on her list – Drinking Absinthe and seducing a rogue – both of which she hopes to do at this house party.

Lily and Asher do not start out on the best of terms, she beats him at cards and he unintentionally insults her. But neither can really deny the growing attraction. Lily tries to ignore the feelings Asher invokes, because she doesn’t want to remarry and she is pretty sure Asher is not a man who would dally with a woman.

Asher wants Lily, but treads carefully, he knows he wants more than Lily is ready to give, but he is determined to win her in the end.

The story is well written, flows nicely, has a lot of amusing scenes, a few steamy-ish scenes, a great cast of secondary characters and a very well earned HEA. One of the things I liked best about this story is that Asher and Lily are not your stereotypical hero and heroine – they are both older, he is not a rake and she is not a dewy eyed virgin, it was a nice change of pace from the atypical historical romance and much appreciated by this reader.

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

To the Duke, With Love by Amelia Grey

To the Duke, with Love (The Rakes of St. James, #2)To the Duke, with Love by Amelia Grey
Tracy’s rating: 3/3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Rakes of St. James, #2

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Maybe 3.5 stars

I liked this installment of the Rakes of St. James, but I didn’t love it.

The Duke of Hawksthorn “Hawk” wants to spare his sister, Lady Adele any heartache his past prank may cause her in the season by having her betrothed before it starts and he has found the perfect match for her, Mr. Paxton Quick, there is only one thing standing in his way……..Paxton’s sister Loretta.

Banished to the country after refusing to marry the man her uncle chose for her, Loretta is determined to make sure her beloved brother is not forced to marry against his will.

These two have an instant connection, but Hawk isn’t looking for a match for himself and Loretta has taken a vow to never marry. But neither can deny the pull of attraction between them. Hawk finds ways to see Loretta and when he finally asks her to marry him, she refuses, holding fast to her vow.

Hawk will have to find a way to convince Loretta to set aside her vow or lose the only woman he has ever loved.

The book is well written, but it is very “put-downable”, there is no real conflict, drama, angst or villain, and nothing keeping them apart save Loretta’s insistence at adhering to a vow she was forced to make. There is a bittersweet side plot involving an orphaned boy and a host of charming secondary characters, a lot of sexual tension and one or two semi-steamy love scenes and finally a HEA. This is the second story in the series, but it could absolutely be read as a stand alone title with no problem.

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

 

The Lord Meets His Lady by Gina Conkle

The Lord Meets His Lady (Midnight Meetings, #3)The Lord Meets His Lady by Gina Conkle

Series: Midnight Meetings, #3

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am torn about this review – I liked the idea of the book, but the execution didn’t work for me.

Genevieve Turner is a woman on the run, she has set out under an assumed name to take a position as a housekeeper. She desperately wants to start anew and hopes this position will be the first step in her new independent life.

Lord Marcus Bowles is a man with no direction, after causing one too many scandals, his brother, the Marquess Northampton, has sent Marcus to the country to sober up and lay low until North can find a suitable bride. Marcus agrees to go, but is counting the days until he can return to London and his aimless, pleasure seeking life.

These two meet when Gen’s carriage is broken down and Marcus mistakenly assumes they are being held up by a highwayman. Gen immediately recognizes Marcus from her former life at the Golden Goose and asks him not to reveal her true identity. Intrigued, Marcus agrees.

Days later he shows up at the house she is working in, turns out her employer is Sam, one of his best friends. Sam wants Marcus to work with him in a business venture and Marcus agrees, if Sam will let Gen come work for him. Sam explains the arrangement to Gen, who agrees to work for Marcus.

Gen and Marcus then proceed to set his house to rights and Marcus tries to lure Gen to his bed. Gen is no stranger to a man’s bed, but she wants a new life and sex is not part of their arrangement.

When Gen’s past comes calling, Marcus steps up and marries her to protect her. But Gen assumes it will be a sham marriage and doesn’t want to get too close to Marcus. By this time, Marcus knows he has deeper feelings for Gen and is content to have her as his wife. They become intimate, but Gen refuses to let there be anything more between them than a physical relationship.

The “Wolf” is not done with Gen yet and Marcus stands to lose everything to keep her safe. And Gen realizes that she loves Marcus and is willing to sacrifice her newfound independence to see him happy.

The story is well written albeit a bit wordy and the pace of the story is bogged down by the wordiness making it a slow read. I liked all the characters, including Wolf (the villain), there are some steamy love scenes, some sweet moments, some amusing moments and finally a HEA.

What I didn’t like was the incorrect use of formal address – this is the one thing that annoys me more than anything else in historical romance – I can overlook a lot, but not that. Marcus is the son of a Marquess, so he has an honorific title of Lord Marcus, when he marries Gen, she becomes Lady Marcus – but for this entire book Marcus is called Lord Bowles and after they are married she is being called Lady Bowles and that made me want to bang my head against the wall. So that, along with the slow pace of the story, made this a 3 star read for me.

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

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #12.6)Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Maiden Lane, #12.6

Release Date: December 5, 2017

This was a sweet (and surprisingly steamy) little Christmas novella.

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque (Remember him from ML#5 Lord of Darkness?) hates Christmas, but he loves his grandmother, so agrees to travel with her for the holidays. When they are caught in a snowstorm and their carriage is wrecked, Adam sets off to find shelter for them – imagine his surprise and dread when the only house nearby is that of Godric St. John’s mother and that she is hosting a Christmas house party, whose guests include Godric, Megs and his step-sisters.

Adam asks for assistance and is welcomed by the family, by all except Sarah St. John – she hates him, well not him in particular, she hates rakes and Adam is a self-proclaimed, unrepentant rogue.

Sarah and Adam banter back and forth, each is fascinated by the other, but Sarah has no more love for rakes than Adam has for innocents. Forced into each others company, they begin to see there is more to the other than just a label – Sarah has a reason to hate rakes and Adam has reasons to scorn love, but there is a lot more to Sarah than her past and Adam may not be the rogue she thought he was.

This was a sweet story of opposites that turn out to be a matching pair and find a love of a lifetime.

The book was short, but it was well written and fleshed out, the love between them did seem a little out of the blue, but overall it was a very good story with steamy love scenes and delightful cameos by Godric and Megs St. John.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by the author’s assistant/publicist*

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger by Victoria Alexander

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger (The Lady Travelers Society, #2)The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger by Victoria Alexander

Series: The Lady Travelers Society, #2

Release Date: November 28, 2017
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wilhelmina, Viscountess Bascome, Willie to her friends, needs to get to Venice to retrieve a valuable painting her late husband used as collateral for a loan. After his untimely death, Willie learned that they were debt ridden and she is basically penniless. When she learns about the painting, it seems like the answer to all her problems, she just needs to get to Venice. She calls on her godmother, Poppy, knowing she is a founding member of the Lady Travelers Society, hoping she will be able to help. Poppy and her friends arrange for Willie to led a tour of American women to Venice. Willie has no experience traveling – but really, how hard could it be?

Dante Montague is also on the hunt for the painting. The painting belonged to his grandfather and was recently discovered missing. Dante will do whatever is necessary to retrieve the painting and return it the family museum – a legacy left by his grandfather. He tracks the painting to Willie and convinces his sister Rosaline (Roz) and his niece Harriet (Harry) to join the tour to Venice so he can tag along and reclaim the painting.

Dante makes it his mission to befriend Willie, but soon his feeling change and he wants her in his life, but he also wants the painting and the longer he waits to tell her his true purpose, the harder it gets. He is repeatedly warned by Roz to tell Willie the truth, but he never finds the right time.

Willie is falling for Dante, hard, but she has made mistakes in the past and is not willing to make them again. When she learns his true reason for joining the tour, she is heartbroken and angry. But she is not willing to let go of the painting either.

When the reach Venice, they form a truce to retrieve the painting – but gaining the painting will most definitely cost them any chance at happiness, as neither is willing to give it up.

This book was so delightful, it is well written – I was astounded at the amount of research that must have gone into the writing of this story, the descriptions of each city were amazing and very detailed! The secondary characters were wonderful and added so much to the story without overshadowing the love story and there is an appearance by “Val” Percival, Marquess of Brookings, a lot of amusing banter, a bit of steam, betrayal, heartache, larceny, surprises and a grand romantic gesture. The road to HEA is not easy for these two – but it is quite an enjoyable journey!

This kindle edition also included the novella “The Rise and Fall of Reginald Everheart”, but I will review that separately.

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

The Lady and Mr. Jones by Alyssa Alexander

The Lady and Mr. Jones (A Spy in the Ton, #4)The Lady and Mr. Jones by Alyssa Alexander

Series: A Spy in the Ton, #4

Release Date: November 27, 2017
Tracy’s rating: 3.5/4 of 5 stars

Mary Elizabeth Francis Catherine Ashdown, Baroness Worthington aka Cat is in a bind, her father has died and though she has inherited the barony and the estates, her father put everything in trust naming her uncle Henri Wycomb (yes, the same one from the previous book) as her guardian and a trustee. Cat is stymied at every turn by her uncle and he is pushing her to marry – in fact he has selected her groom and signed the contracts. If she refuses, she will lose Ashdown Abbey.

But things seem to be going from bad to worse for Cat, she is attacked outside a shop and is saved by Jones. Jones is on a mission that involves her uncle, he had no desire to reveal himself to her, but when she catches him in her uncles study later, he has no choice and they come to an agreement, that he will keep her informed and she will feed him information.

The more they meet, the deeper their bond becomes, but Wycomb is up to something and Cat is not safe. Jones is falling for her, but knows nothing can come of it, yet he can’t seem to walk away from her.

Cat knows she loves Jones, loves him enough to walk away from her legacy – but he won’t let her. When Cat is abducted and Wycomb’s scheme is revealed, will it be too late for Jones to save the woman he loves? And is he finally ready to accept that Cat loves him enough to walk away from her inheritance?

The book is well written, but there are a couple of formal address mistakes and as in the last book it is still being referred to as “Carleton House” instead of Carlton House. The love scenes are on the warm side, but in no way graphic or steamy. Readers who were dismayed with Wycomb in the last book will be overjoyed to see him get his comeuppance in this book and to revisit The Flower, Shadow & Angel as well as their spouses and growing families. The book is action packed and has a bit of mystery that is very well done. The ending was not what I was expecting and personally, I think Cat was overly forgiving, but I was happy with the ending and enjoyed the epilogue.

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

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