Review: The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway (The Dukes of War #6) by Erica Ridley

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The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

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Captain Blackheart leads a simple life of roving the seas, wenching and treasure-hunting. He steers clear of romantic entanglements that could tie him to land. He shouldn’t have any trouble keeping his hands off the gently-bred lady he’s commissioned to abduct—except his cargo turns out to be feisty and passionate! She’d be a prize worth treasuring, if having her aboard didn’t jeopardize everything…

Clara Halton thought the worst loss she could suffer was to be stripped of her family, stricken with consumption, and left to die alone. Then she meets Blackheart. Their attraction is ruinous…and irresistible. When he delivers her like so much plunder, his mission is over — but hers has just begun. She’ll force him to acknowledge their connection, even if she must storm his ship to do it! 

I was glued to this story from page one and couldn’t put it down! There is an instant attraction between them that can’t be denied no matter how hard they try they can’t stay away from each other. The moment he delivered her to her family and left made my heart hurt because there was something special between them. I loved when she decided to board the ship and hide because I didn’t know what his reaction would be and it was a total surprise!

She arrived back on the ship in time for a treasure hunt full of surprises and for them both to give in. I needed a fan when they couldn’t hold back anymore. Neither one is willing to give up their way of life for the other yet, but love won’t let them say goodbye that easily.

Clara believed she was dying and sent her daughter away to keep her safe and was surprised when a handsome stranger says he’s been sent to get her. I loved her from the start because she wasn’t anything like you’d expect and was ready to defend herself. She is one of the feistiest women and doesn’t hold back about anything.

Gregory tries to put up a hard front, but those that know him know he has a big heart. He couldn’t deny that he wanted her even when she drove him mad by sneaking on the ship and not staying put. I loved him right away because he knew she needed help and he wasn’t going to let her die.

I love that both are a bit older and know what they are getting into.

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Review: A Duke a Dozen (The Survivors #6) by Shana Galen

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A Duke a Dozen by Shana Galen

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

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They call him the Doomed Duke.
Phineas Duncombe, ninth Duke of Mayne, should not be the duke. After all, he had four—count them—four older brothers! Phin never wanted the dukedom, and the suspicious circumstances of the eighth duke’s death lead Phin to question the Countess of Longstowe. The beautiful widow isn’t at all what Phin expected. He’s intrigued by her and determined to seduce her. The countess is not interested in Phin romantically, but when she comes to him with another request, he can’t deny it. A few days in the country with Lady Longstowe reveal two truths to the new duke. One, he cares for the countess much more than any other woman he’s ever known. Two, Phin either has very bad luck or someone is trying to kill him.

They call her the Wanton Widow.
Annabel was barely eighteen when she was married to the elderly Earl of Longstowe. A harsh, sadistic man, the earl’s death was not something Annabel mourned. Now in her mid-forties, Annabel enjoys her widowhood and has no desire to ever be under a man’s thumb again. Not even a handsome duke like Mayne, who is far too young for her anyway. Annabel’s one desire is to find the daughter who was taken away from her. For that she needs a man with power and status. She needs the Duke of Mayne. When the two are thrust together, Annabel struggles to fight her attraction to the charming Phin. She’s losing the battle. But can she ever trust another man, especially with the one part of herself she’s never given away—her heart?

Two people have never gotten off to such a bad start, but that spark between them can’t be denied. That heat is constantly between them building and waiting to burst into one of the strongest love stories. Between them and wondering who is after him I couldn’t put it down and flew through the book. I loved the switch with her being older than him and how open with each other they were.

When it came to who was trying to kill Phin I didn’t see it coming at all and almost dropped my Kindle. I was on pins and needles during that scene. It just sealed their love even more and there was no denying it. Let the scandal sheets and gossips scream it from the rooftop because the doomed duke and wanton widow are never letting go of each other.

Annabel has to be one of the strongest women alive. She survived a cruel man that forced her to shut down parts of herself and left her fearing she could never get those parts back. I absolutely loved her from the start with how she could put someone in their place. She found just who and what she needed after all those years.

Phin never wanted to be the duke, but he was made to be the duke because he was nothing like his brothers. He saw in her what she tried to hide and was determined to help her find her daughter and show her she could get those parts of herself back. I love him and his skills for getting information and how he would give up control to her.

The stories in this series just keep getting better.

ARC Review: An Agent for Alexina (The Pinkerton Matchmaker) by Laura Beers

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An Agent for Alexina by Laura Beers

Releasing September 6th

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋

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Alexina Kimball is an experienced Pinkerton Agent, and arguably one of the best agents at the Chicago office. She works alone and always catches the bad guys. However, everything changes when she’s transferred to the Denver office and is assigned a partner. 

Finally, Dawson Wayne’s dream of becoming a Pinkerton Agent is becoming a reality. The only catch is that he must marry his trainer… a beautiful, infuriating woman. 

Together, they’re sent to the small town of Hidden Ditch, Kansas. Their case: discover the whereabouts of two schoolteachers who’ve gone missing. As the stakes increase, can Alexina and Dawson work together to solve the case, or are they both too stubborn to recognize that there is more on the line than just the missing schoolteachers? 

Can two headstrong agents learn to trust each other’s instincts when love is on the line? 

I love this series because you get a romance and a crime to solve along with female agents. This one may just be my favorite because they are both so headstrong and drive each other crazy. It’s clear pretty fast that they are meant for each other. I figured out who was behind the kidnappings but wasn’t expecting how crazy they were. I loved everything about the rescue and how it brought them together even when it caused a slight misunderstanding.

Alexina keeps to herself and prefers to work alone, but Dawson easily flips her world upside down. I loved her from the start with stubborn she was. She had no problem telling men what she thought about them and is always serious.

Dawson is adorably cocky and annoying, but that’s what makes you love him so much. He has such a different back story than Alexina, but he is fascinated by the woman she is. I was holding my breath because of him during the fried apple scene. He will make you laugh with some of the things he does.

Review: The Monster of Montvale Hall (Saints & Sinners #1) by Nadine Millard

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The Monster of Montvale Hall by Nadine Millard

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋

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A childhood tragedy had shaped the life of Robert Forsythe, the Duke of Montvale Hall, forever. 

He kept himself isolated from the world and the people in it, reveling in his reputation as a monster. 

Locked in a world of guilt and grief, nobody had ever been able to break down the walls he kept around him. Nobody had ever tried. 

And if being a monster kept everyone away, then a monster he would be. 

Abigail Langton was as headstrong as she was mischievous, so it was no surprise that she wasn’t exactly welcomed at Montvale Hall with open arms. 

It didn’t take her long to understand why its owner was called a monster. 

It took even less time to realize that monster or not, Abigail’s heart called to him in a way she couldn’t deny or understand. 

Robert’s world is turned upside down and inside out by the irrepressible Abigail. And try as he might to avoid it, he finds himself drawn to her in ways he doesn’t want. In ways that scare the wits out of him. 

Will Robert give in to the temptation that is Abigail? And will Abigail find the heart of the man beneath the monster?

Abigail’s surprise arrival was just what Montvale Hall needed and she will flip everything upside down. These two are not a love at first sight couple, but they are drawn to each other no matter how much they try to fight it. The attraction between them is strong and everyone sees it, but until the past is brought forward they will battle at every turn.

The final battle breaks down the rest of the wall he has created by making him face the past once and for all. I loved Robert’s mother when she had a talk with him because she didn’t mince words. Abigail’s cousin knew she was exactly what his best friend needed.

Abigail won’t let him hide behind the monster he has created and is determined to find the man she knows that is hiding inside. I loved her right away with how she spoke her mind went toe to toe with Robert. She knew what she wanted and was going to get it.

Robert is a broken man behind the monster he created and it is slowly eating away at his life. You can tell from the start that he really has a big heart and the longer he’s around her the more the real him comes out. I loved when he finally realized he couldn’t give her up.

ARC Review: Never Have I Ever With a Duke (The Spitfire Society #1) by Darcy Burke

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Never Have I Ever With a Duke by Darcy Burke

Releasing August 27th

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

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Meet the smart, independent women who’ve decided they don’t need Society’s rules, their families’ expectations, or, most importantly, a husband. But just because they don’t need a man doesn’t mean they might not want one…

Graham Kinsley is shocked when he inherits a debt-ridden dukedom, and now he has just one month to repay a loan. He needs an heiress—or find a way to recoup the former duke’s losses. When he meets the alluring Arabella, he’s entranced. Unfortunately, she’s as bankrupt as he is, but if they work together they may be able to recover their fortunes. Though if they keep stealing kisses, they may lose their hearts instead.

Arabella Stoke can’t afford an attraction to the penniless duke who has vowed to help rescue her family from financial devastation. She needs to find a wealthy husband before her father succumbs to the stress of losing everything. However, as Graham brings them closer to finding the swindler who stole their money, the war between what they want and what they need may ruin them both.

This will definitely be an addicting series of books! These ladies are definitely spitfires that will surprise you at every turn. Arabella and Graham’s first meeting sent sparks flying, but they didn’t think their paths would cross again. Neither one is very good at following society’s rules and that just means they will surprise you with the things they do and say. I loved all their conversations and the passion between them.

I was on pins and needles when it came to the swindler and wondering what would happen when they found him. The shocking twist about who he was one I didn’t see coming at all! The ending was one of my favorites!

Arabella is nothing like you expect her to be and it’s clear from the start that she is a spitfire. She’s not shy about anything and wants to be apart of the action. I loved her right away with how she handled herself. She will shock you at times.

Graham may now by a duke, but the title hasn’t gone to his head at all. He doesn’t want to marry for money, but he desperately needs to pay off that loan. There is such a passion in him when it comes to talking about this history of his home, but the love for Arabella will force him to make hard choices.

I can’t wait for the next one in this series.

A Clever Alliance (Regency Brides: A Promise of Love #1) by Laura Beers

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A Clever Alliance by Laura Beers

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋

Amazon

Lady Madalene Ramsbury has been summoned home from Miss Bell’s Finishing School to some unfortunate news. In three weeks, she is to be married to a man she’s never met. Rather than face a life she does not want; she flees from her own engagement party and elicits help from a most unlikely source.

Society’s golden boy, Everett, the Marquess of Northampton, was outraged when a young woman suddenly appeared in his curricle. Was she attempting to trap him into an unwanted marriage? It would be just like some overzealous mother to put her up to such a ploy. However, it doesn’t take long for him to discover that Madalene is unlike any woman he has ever known.

With her reputation in shambles, Lady Madalene and Everett hatch a plan to solve both of their problems, a fake engagement. But as they spend time together, they realize more is on the line than just a blossoming friendship. And with danger ever present from her jilted suitor, Everett and Madalene find themselves relying on one another in ways they’d never imagined… but can they trust each other with their hearts?

You’re in for a treat with Madalene and Everett because they are not your typical couple. It’s clear to everyone around them that their friendship is more, but neither one sees it. Every threat against them just brought them closer and they would both die for the other if needed. I loved how they bantered back and forth and flirted without realizing it.

I knew her uncle had lied, but never imagined how far he had gone for himself. Between him and her crazy ex-fiance, I don’t know which was worse. Of course, I have to mention the amazing scene in the woods with Nicholas and how perfect it ended. The suspense was coming off the pages.

Madalene is no timed miss that will be forced into anything she doesn’t want. I knew I was going to love her as soon as she made her escape and didn’t even second guess her decision. She is a feisty girl that stands her ground and gives as good as she gets when threatened. My favorite scene was when she told her uncle what she was going to do about him.

Everett has no interest in any of the girls that have gone to great lengths to get him. He really has no plans to marry anytime soon, but the minute she fell into his curricle and asked for help his heart was gone. I loved how blunt and honest he was about things with everyone.

Their friends and his family will provide you with some great laughs along the way.

Review: Fortune’s Final Folly (Fortunes of Fate #10) by Christina McKnight

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Fortune’s Final Folly by Christina McKnight

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋

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A TWIST OF FATE… 

Miss Katherina Elliott leads a simple life, teaching impoverished children, just as her parents did before her. Kate knows little of her family’s past: only that every three months, a mysterious benefactor sends her enough money to pay the school’s mounting bills. The envelope is brought by the solicitor across the street–a man Kate knows she shouldn’t want but can’t resist.

Lord Joshua Stuart, the second son of the Duke of Beaufort, has never fit in with the rest of his family. Though he has a practice on Bond Street, he’s always preferred working in Cheapside, where he can make a real difference. It has nothing to do with his attractive, sweet neighbor across the street, or so he tells himself. But when Kate’s school is threatened, Joshua knows he must help her.

As Joshua and Kate work to save the school, they grow closer, until their love for each other can no longer be denied. Their search brings them to the famed fortune teller, Madame Zeta, who holds the key to Kate’s past. But when Kate’s fate intertwines with Madame Zeta’s, nothing will ever be the same. Will her love for Joshua survive fortune’s twists, or will they end up as the final folly?

Fate brought these two together at just the right time. The mystery of who is sending the money brings them closer and leads them answers they didn’t expect. You’ll never see who is behind the threat to the school coming or any of the surprises that pop up. Their love is a strong one that can withstand anything thrown at them.

Kate just wants to teach the local children and be happy, but fate has other ideas. I loved her from the start because she didn’t back down from anything. She didn’t run when she realized her feelings.

Joshua lives to help people and helping Kate is at the top of his list. I loved the work he did and how he treated everyone like family and friends. He wasn’t going to let her do anything alone.

Review: North of the Azores (Life on Another Island Book 1) by Ruth Danes

North of the Azores by Ruth Danes

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️1/2 Spice Level:💋💋1/2

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The year is 1780 and the Devil’s Isles, a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, have recently been conquered by Britain after a brief war. The inhabitants of the Devil’s Isles practice magic and both human and animal sacrifice. Nebula, a young princess from the islands, struggles with this and is beginning to question what she has been taught. 

Aware of a plot to kill everyone on the islands, Nebula defects to the British side where she takes on a new identity and a new life. Under the name Adeliza, she works in England as a maid for a Dr Moon. Only two men know her real identity; the kind-hearted doctor and the seemingly terrifying Mr Lastman. 

This kind of historical fiction is new to me and while not my cup of tea there were parts I really enjoyed. You get to follow the journey of Adeliza over the course of a few years as she grows from a young girl to a young woman. She is very much like every teenage girl when it comes to her heart and I enjoyed seeing her go through real struggles of a teenager.

There really isn’t much romance except for her brief love for one guy. I kinda think this would be a good story for a teenager because they could relate a bit more to Adeliza and her struggles. Love scenes aren’t graphic and there are only a couple so it’s fine for a teenager.

The author has a great imagination and did a great job with creating this story.

Review: The Perfect Spinster (The Not So Saintly Sisters #2) by Annabelle Anders

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The Perfect Spinster by Annabelle Anders

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

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He’s more rake than gentleman and she’s more minx than spinster. 
Miss Olivia Redfield’s prospects for marriage are nonexistent, bleak at best. Removed from society for an ill-fated physical defect, she’s resigned herself to caring for others in a somewhat dreary existence. She’s determined to be the Perfect Spinster, that is, until she finds herself falling for the charming but unattainable, Lord Kingsley. 

Gabriel Fellowes, Earl of Kingsley is doing a favor for a friend by overseeing the dangerous–– but promising––mine on the border of Viscount Hallowell’s property. With extra time on his hands, he finds himself irresistibly provoked by the viscount’s nymph–like daughter and delights in needling her as well. In no position to promise more than a dalliance, Gabriel takes the unprecedented step of becoming her friend. 

Their flirtatious attachment threatens to erupt in passion, but duty and honor forbid anything more. Will love be defeated when tragedy strikes, or can these two overcome Society’s dictates and conquer a century old curse? 

A very unique and awkward meeting starts off this whirlwind romance that won’t go off without a couple of surprising hiccups. They tried to tell themselves that this was just friendship, but the connection between them is so powerful that nothing will keep them from each other. I was on pins and needles waiting for them to finally give in to the attraction fully because it leaps off the pages. When tragedy strikes it brings them together, but there is still one obstacle that stands in their way back in London.

I loved that this story covers a year because you really get a sense of how strong their love is. The added storyline with his sister was one I didn’t expect and what followed showed everyone what was between them. The ending was perfect for these two and the scene in the bed made me love him even more.

Olivia doesn’t let her eye define her or society rules control her. I loved her right away because of how much she cared about others. She had a way of say “my lord” that made it sound like the biggest insult when she was mad. I loved when she told her parents off and how she came to realize the curse wasn’t real.

Gabriel would marry her in a heartbeat if he hadn’t made a promise to his father about who he would marry. He’ll make you fall in love with him once you realize why he use to tease her and how he always manages to say the wrong thing around her. It took him long enough to realize he wasn’t to blame for the tragedy and he could have who he wanted. It’s also so cute when he says her name differently.

These two deserved an amazing story and they got it!

Review: Adrift With the Viscount (Lords of the Night #3) by Sandra Sookoo

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Adrift with the Viscount by Sandra Sookoo

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

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He doesn’t want a woman, let alone a wife… Valentine Sean Butler, the sixteenth Viscount Mountgarret, is cursed to spend half his life as a merman. Though he doesn’t mind his beastly side, he takes exception to warring for the cause of the mers. They hate humans and require his fighting skills, but all Valentine wants is to sail his ship and be left alone in peace… then one chance meeting with a lady in Hyde Park bends his plans. 

She has no use for men, but needs a convenient marriage… Lady Phoebe Winthrop, used, ruined, and disowned is ready to steer her own fate. Not content with the horrible birthmark or the life given her, she wants adventure, and the only way to gain that is to ask the viscount to marry her. Wedding will give them both a measure of respectability, and beyond that, perhaps the friendship she sorely craves. 

A union based on freedom… As Valentine and Phoebe sail from London following their wedding, they both have to come to grips with what they’re running from. Old insecurities dog their steps, but as the days go by, their unlikely friendship grows into much more. As love blooms and deepens, they must stay one step ahead of danger in the depths, and when a horrible contract comes due, one—or both of them—must make the ultimate, and most personal of sacrifices in order to chase a happily ever after.

I’ve said before I’m not really a shifter romance fan, but when I saw Sandra had done a merman one I had to read it! The call of the sea brought them together. Their marriage was supposed to be in name only, but they were just what each other needed. It’s a journey for both of them to gain each other’s trust and help each other deal with things. Their love is one of the strongest I’ve read in a long time and this one really touches my heart.

Sandra writes some of the best fights scenes and I always look forward to reading them and the underwater scenes in this were amazing. I knew there was going to be more to the deal he made, but I never expected what was coming. I was holding my breath throughout the battle and had no idea what was going to happen.

Phoebe has been through so much in her life that she doesn’t have a judgmental bone in her body. My heart broke for her when she finally told him her story, but it lifted so much off of her to tell it. I loved her right away because she didn’t hide away and did things no other lady would.

Valentine is pulled between two worlds and knows he will have to make a choice one day soon about it. His own story pulls at my heart because he thought he’d never find love after what happened before. I loved him right away because he held no judgment or listened to the rumors. His Irish charms came out with he did his own version of the wedding vows.

This one is packed with the message of self-acceptance and I know it will touch so many readers hearts. Phoebe’s story of what happened may be upsetting to some, but it’s very well written and not graphic.