Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Lord of Pleasure by Erica Ridley book review

This is the 2nd book I have read by Erica Ridley and I really enjoyed it.  It took me about a day to finish because I was up really late at night reading it.  One of my favorite things about this book was the masquerade ball.  It's been a really long time since I have read a historical romance that took place where the main characters didn't have to hide behind manners and societal expectations.  It was a lot of fun.  The Lord of Pleasure is Lord Wainwright, or Michael and Lady X is Miss Cameillia Grenville, who is firmly on the shelf.  No one has offered for her hand, so her parents are desperate and match her with someone twice her age.  She decides to live it up while she can and heads to the masquerade that her sister was supposed to go to.  There she meets Lord X.  She is not looking for an affair, she just wants to be to person she has always thought she was and not the wallflower everyone else thinks she is.  Michael is intrigued by her and enjoys the conversation.  Women usually only want him for sex or for money.  Then he ends up in the gossip column.  He wants to change his image and takes a bet with his friends that he is determined to win.
I love that they got to know each other sort of anonymously because of their masks.  They didn't know each others real names.  But one thing was clear, they liked each other for who they really were.  Michael was then determined to find out Lady X's real name and court her in real life.  He was looking for a countess and a wife who viewed him as smart and hard working.  Not as the Lord of Pleasure.  Overall, it was a great read. Michael was romantic and determined to win Camellia over.  Their chemistry was hot.  The sex scene was panty melting.  Worth reading over several times ;)  I would definitely recommend buying this book.

One Night with a SEAL by Tawny Weber and Beth Andrews

This book is a little bit unique in that there are two stories in one book.  Each story follows a couple written by one of the authors.  Author Tawny Weber wrote the first story about Zane and Vivian. Zane has a short break from the Navy and he is stationed in Virginia.  The thread that runs through both of the stories are the challenges that Zane's friends come up for him and his brother when they visit home.  This time, however, Zane does not want to do any challenges and it's sort of making him hesitate to come home.  But he does not turn down a challenge.  He is traveling home for his 10 year high school reunion, where he will be honored as a hero.  Zane doesn't really want that either.  Then he meets Vivian.  He feels like he sort of knows here (he does) but he knows that he never dated her.  Vivian is working on her dream of having a bakery that makes naughty treats for parties and she is really good at it.  Her parents and brother a just a bit too conservative to appreciate her talent.  As the sparks fly with Zane and Vivian, they go out, they get to know each other and then she finds out about the challenge.  This will keep you reading.

The next half of the book is all about Quinn and Xander.  It is written by author Beth Andrews. Xander is Zane's twin brother and he's had a thing for Quinn for quite a while.  He wants to be done with the challenges.  In fact, he'd be happy not doing them again because he feels that he has outgrown them.  Xander is also a SEAL, but stationed in California.  He is not enjoying the spotlight and being honored as a hero at the high school reunion.  He just wants to lie low and hang out with Quinn.  While he is totally attracted to her, Xander is trying to get Quinn to trust him.  Quinn has a hard time trusting men because of her past relationship.  Their chemistry is hot!  Whew!  They have some explosive sex scenes that will keep you reading.  Overall, this is a fun book.  If you don't have a lot of time, you can read the first half and the 2nd story later.  The authors do a nice job co-writing.  The writing styles mesh together very well.  Definitely recommended.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter book review

Madeline Hunter is one of my favorite regency romance authors and I had been looking forward to this book for a while. She did not disappoint. This is the first book in a new the new Decadent Dukes series. In this book, we are introduced to The Most Dangerous Duke in London, Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton. He is portrayed as dark and brooding and others are afraid of his temper. Adam has recently returned to London after spending time with is mother in France. All of the ton have heard rumors about Adam's family and those of his neighbor the Earl of Marwood. The secrets are revealed towards the end of the book. Believe me, they will keep you reading.

 The Dowager Countess of Marwood invited Stratton to their estate after years of no communication. She wants Stratton to propose to her beautiful granddaughter, Emilia. She has been bred to be the perfect society wife, however Lady Clara catches his eye. Clara is Marwood's daughter from his first marriage and is firmly on the shelf. She wants no part of marriage and is not really interested in suitors. She would rather spend her days with friends, writing and riding horses. However, Adam is quite taken with Lady Clara and decides to propose to her. The chapter leading up the the proposal is one of my favorites because it is hilarious. The way Hunter writes the dialogue and describes the emotions of Clara had me laughing out loud. At this point you will not want to put the book down because you will be dying to know the ways that Adam tries to woo Clara. Clara wants nothing to do with Adam and is intent on getting her own life started as an independent woman. But Clara does not anticipate the chemistry between her and Adam. (Oh man, the chemistry between these two is scorching). I love their interactions.

The sex scenes are tastefully written. In fact, they are a bit more tame than some of Hunter's books. But still HOT! You can tell throughout the book that the author knows a lot of history as the details are so accurately described. The colors, the smells, the atmosphere. This is story telling at its finest. The romantic gestures will make you swoon and you may also fall in love with Adam's friends. The Duke of Stratton is currently my book boyfriend. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a historical romance with a HEA. I also love the cover. The cover artist added a bow to the cover making it seem like a gift. This book is definitely a gift for romance lovers. This is the perfect book for some fun summer reading. I'm looking forward to the next story in this series.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Stranger she can Trust by Regan Black

I've fallen in love with hot EMT's, so I am on the lookout for a good EMT hero romance.  I had never read anything from the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line (series?) so I didn't really know what to expect. I chose it from NetGalley because the cover was interesting and the book description hooked me.  It's definitely more about the suspense part of the story and there is not as much emphasis on the sex part.  I guess that would be the Harlequin Blaze books ;)  So, I tried something new and I enjoyed it.

Carson is an EMT who is recovering from an injury while on duty in his rig.  He is passing the time (recovering) and working part time at the Escape Club.  This club was opened by a former police officer and it tends to attract those who need an escape or need a safe haven.  Melissa stumbles out of a taxi one night and into the arms of Carson, who quickly takes her inside to look over her injuries.  She refuses to go to the hospital, but has a hard time explaining things because she is suffering from amnesia. Definitely time for our hot EMT to come to the rescue!  He keeps things professional for the first few days, but it gets harder and harder as Carson and Melissa get to know each other.  As events of her trauma unfold, Melissa needs protection.  The suspense definitely keeps you on edge to the last chapter.  The chemistry between Carson and Melissa is undeniable.  They are both dealing with traumatic events, but being together makes them stronger.  A perfect HEA.  It's a good quick read.  I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

Claim and Protect by Rhenna Morgan

Trevor was totally my book boyfriend for the week. I fell in love.  He is so alpha and so protective; what woman can resist that?  I offer no resistance whatsoever ;)  The Haven Brotherhood series is quickly becoming one of my favorite series.  I've already started rereading this's so good.  I like that the author gives a bit of a glimpse as to what is going on with Jace and Vivian and with Zeke and Gabe. I enjoy the continuity.  Although it could be read as a stand alone.

I like how Trevor's background factors into the budding relationship with Natalie. All of the Haven Brotherhood series characters have had some sort of trauma or event that shaped who they are presently.  I think Natalie's story was tactfully done and to be so fiercely protected by Trevor is exactly what she needed.

The sex scenes are once again panty melting.  And worth rereading. It definitely falls into the erotic romance category.  Exactly what the publisher promises ;) One of the unique things that sets Trevor's story apart is his growing relationship with Natalie's son, Levi.  Levi really needed a good male role model in his life.  The relationship is very realistic.  From mimicking things Trevor says and does, to throwing a birthday party at his ranch.  It's a great secondary story.  There is more than one HEA in this story.  I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a steamy contemporary romance.  It's gritty and real...and justice always seems to be served where it needs to.

The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann

I found out about this book through the RT VIP Salon and as soon as I saw the cover, I went to see if it was available on NetGalley.  Imagine my librarian excitement when it was there!  I honestly think Susan Mann and I could be best friends in real life.  We share the same career AND the same spy aspirations ;)  I will admit that I look at librarian jobs on certain government websites.  Just to see what is available and consider the possibility of applying.  It would be quite the change from my library career today....but it is ok to fantasize.  I never even thought about writing or even looking for a book about a librarian and a spy.  Needless to say, I LOVED it!  I plan on rereading it.  And recommending it to every librarian that I know.
About the story, I love how Quinn was introduced in the context of her career.  Mann really set out to dispel the myth of the stereotypical librarian.  And then I just melted when James first shows up at the library needing the help of a professional researcher.  Total swoon moment.  While the chemistry is noticeable from their first interaction, the reader can tell that James is trying to keep things professional (backbone of a good story).  It makes for some good dialogue when the main characters have an obvious attraction to each other.
I love all the literary tidbits sprinkled throughout the story.  It is obvious that Quinn and her family are well read and they share books as a family.  Quinn is a bit of a bad ass, having grown up with a bunch of brothers.  She can definitely hold her own.
I don't want to give away any spoilers at this point, but as the story progresses, James and Quinn have to work together as a result of her research.  As they spend more time together, it's obvious that James is losing the battle with staying professional (as a reader you will be dying for things to progress) and I was starting to question his hesitancy.  Then the twist and all is explained.  I could not put the book down!!!  Then ending was totally unexpected and worth staying up late to finish reading.  The story is part mystery, action and definitely romance.  It is not very explicit for a contemporary romance...but the story was so good....I wasn't really expecting more.
My librarian heart squealed in delight at the conversations about MARC and DDC.  They were so integral to solving the mystery part of the story that they really could not do it without Quinn.  I'm glad the editors let this stay in because it is sort of librarian jargon, but on the other hand - medical romances are full of medical/doctor-y terminology.  I think it's ok to let readers see the technical aspects of a professional career. It really puts us in a more professional light and shows that we are not there to shush patrons and reshelve books for a living.  I'm clearly biased about this book.  But I loved it so much!  I cannot wait for the next one.  I will be obsessively checking NetGalley for a release date.