ARC Review: Kisses and Scandal #1 from Kisses and Scandal: A Survivors Series Anthology by Shana Galen

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Kisses and Scandal by Shana Galen

Releasing April 14, 2020

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

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You’ve met the men of the wildly popular Survivors series. Now meet the charming friends and relatives who walk the streets of London with them. Kisses and Scandal features three exciting novellas set in the Survivors’ world, including one never-before-published story.

Kisses and Scandal
Lady Philomena is the sister of the Duke of Mayne. She’s beautiful and sought-after, but she’s made the mistake of falling in love with… the footman. James Finnegan loves his lady but has a secret that won’t only break Philomena’s heart. It just might endanger her life.

This kind of pairing is the fairy tale we all love. The lady falling in love with the footman and she doesn’t care what anyone thinks. This one has the added twist his secret puts her in danger and he must do whatever he can to protect her. I really loved how they seemed to click and it’s heartbreaking when the secret comes to light, but love wins in the end. It’s a quick and cute story that will have you giggling at her mother in the end.

Philomena is a strong woman that when she sets her mind on something she will have it. I loved that she never backed down from what she wanted or worried about the scandal. She also knew that her heart wanted him no matter what.

James joined the household as a footman for his part in a dangerous scheme, but meeting Philomena changed him and now he must protect her. I love that he was always the one worried about the scandal. There was never a doubt about his feelings for her.

Review: How the Lady Was Won (The Survivors #7) by Shana Galen

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How the Lady Was Won by Shana Galen

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

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When a master of disguise marries a woman who sees right through him…
Lady Daphne, daughter of the Duke of Warcliffe, is one of the Three Suns. Society revolves around her. But there’s one person who doesn’t seem to know she’s alive—her own husband. Lady Daphne was thrilled to marry Colin FitzRoy, the son of her mother’s dear friend, seven years before. But then he left for the army, and their marriage never really had a chance. Now she’s in trouble, and Colin has reentered her life. She’s determined to refuse his help, especially after the way he’s treated her, but Colin can be persuasive…especially when he has her alone.

Baring it all is part of the seduction.
Colin FitzRoy was known as The Pretender during the war. He’s an expert in the art of disguise, but even when he takes off the mask, he hides who he really is. Colin pretends he doesn’t have feelings, but when he’s thrust together with his estranged wife, his buried emotions resurface. Before long, Colin is juggling an elderly pug, a wife-hunting Scotsman, and a duplicitous street urchin in an effort to keep Daphne safe. But his greatest challenge is not only to seduce her but to win her heart. 

This may just be my favorite in The Survivors series! Their wedding night did not go as planned and they’ve not spoken in seven years, but that all changes when trouble brings them back together. I love them together because that spark is between them and you can tell they are both fighting it for different reasons. Their emotions and feels slowly start to come to the surface and once they give in it is fireworks.

I was on pins and needles when it came to her trouble because I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was fun seeing Jasper again because he caused some trouble along the way. There are a few surprising twists throughout the story that I didn’t see coming.

Daphne is nothing like her friends when it comes to gossip and how she treats people. She is stubborn and full of fire and wants to fix her trouble herself, but she doesn’t know the danger that comes with it. I loved her right away because she didn’t hold back with anything or anyone.

Colin knows things went badly seven years ago, but his past keeps him from showing his emotions. He would do anything to protect her and wants to be with her, but he runs when his emotions start to show. I loved his skills and when he finally was able to open up.

ARC Review: Outlaw’s Redemption (Redemption Bluff Book 2) by Lynda Cox

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Outlaw’s Redemption by Lynda Cox

Releasing October 18, 2019

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

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Sometimes you can’t tell the end of a story by the color of hat someone wears and sometimes, second chances change everything…

Clay Denton is living on borrowed time. The only thing keeping him from a dance for the hangman is a promise he made to find a US Marshal’s niece. Clay doesn’t care if it’s vengeance the marshal really wants. As long as the man believes Clay’s looking for Josephine, he’s free to keep living.

Josephine Myers lives on the run, never straying too far from the towns of Purgatory or Redemption. She won’t leave, even though to stay means she’s putting herself right into the line of fire. She’s too frightened to fight back, and much too afraid to run far. Until Clay rides into her life, saving her from a terrible attack.

Clay and Josephine’s redemption might come at a steep price, depending on who wins. The white hat…or the black.

Lynda puts a unique spin on how this story of redemption is told. An angel and fallen angel are watching things unfold to see if love can really change the outcome of what they know will happen. I was on pins and needles throughout the whole story especially when there was unexpected interference.

Something else Lynda does an amazing job at is writing villains that make your skin crawl and having them meet the perfect ending. The ending will bring tears to your eyes for so many reasons and you won’t want it to end.

Josephine was frightened and alone in the world until Clay and Princess saved her and gave her the strength to fight. I loved seeing her remember the past and telling her uncle what she wanted for Clay. She wasn’t going to give up on Clay or let anyone else suffer as she had.

Clay has spent two searching for her to avoid hanging, but he also saw what happened all those years ago and wants the villains to pay. When he threatened people he meant it and it could send shivers down your spin. I loved that he wasn’t going to let her go back even if it meant his death.

Princess the dog deserves to be talked about because he is an amazing dog. He would give his life to protect Clay and Josephine and hated it when he was kept away. I loved how well trained he was.

ARC Review: Maid Under the Mistletoe (Lady it’s Cold Outside) by Annabelle Anders

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

Maid Under the Mistletoe by Annabelle Anders

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️ ❤️ Spice Level: 💋

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Eliza Drake is failing miserably at her duties as a lady’s maid. The Earl of Mapleton is failing miserably at wooing Eliza’s mistress. Perhaps they can fail together… aided by the magic of the season and some harmless mistletoe.

This is such a sweet and magical Christmas time story! These two were clearly meant to be together even though they come from very different backgrounds. Everyone can see what’s between them, but Christmas magic will make sure they are together.

Eliza is strong-willed and sharp-tongued and not meant to be a Lady’s maid. She has a way of knowing the perfect gifts for anyone and speaks her mind.

Anthony puts others first and that’s why he needs a wife with a dowry. He couldn’t stay away from Eliza no matter how hard he tried.

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.

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

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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.

ARC Review: Lady Saves The Duke (Lord Love a Lady #3) by Annabelle Anders

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

Lady Saves the Duke by Annabelle Anders

Releases February 6, 2019

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

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Miss Abigail Wright, disillusioned spinster, hides her secret pain behind encouraging smiles and optimistic laughter. Self-pity, she believes, is for the truly wretched. So when her mother insists she attend a house party—uninvited—she determines to simply make the best of it…until an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.

Alex Cross, the “Duke of Ice,” has more than earned the nickname given him by the ton. He’s given up on happiness but will not reject sensual pleasure. After all, a man has needs.

The week ought to have been pleasantly uneventful for both of them, with nature walks, parlor games, and afternoon teas on the terrace…but for some inferior stitchery on poor Abigail’s bodice.

And now the duke is faced with a choice. Should he make this mouse a respectable offer and then abandon her to his country estate? She’s rather pathetic and harmless, really. Oughtn’t to upset his life whatsoever. 

His heart, however, is another matter… 

This is a heartwarming and gut-wrenching story that will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions. They both have stories that will make you cry, but those stories bring them together and they understand each other more than they know it. If you’ve read A Lady’s Prerogative then you got a glimpse of their first meeting, but it’s not as innocent as everyone thinks. They are very different from each other but drawn to each other and it shows in that first meeting.

Abigail is a brave and strong woman that I admired more and more as her story unfolded. She had been through so much, but you wouldn’t know by how she carried herself and acted. I loved that she didn’t hide away and when angry she didn’t run. She stayed when others would have ran away. So many women can relate to her in different ways.

Alex will break your heart with how much his thoughts of the past eat at him. He needed her and didn’t really know why at first. I loved him and how wanted the truth and understood what she needed. He never blinked an eye at anything she told him. He could also deliver a well-deserved pounding when needed.

Their wedding will go down in history as one of the best ones for very unique reasons. When it came to her parents I wanted to strangle them so much from the blaming her to the horrible jokes they made.

I want to praise Annabelle for writing a curvy heroine with a real body stretch marks and all. We need more like this.

I also want to mention that this book does deal with a past rape that happened before the book. There are no graphic details, but it is a huge part of the story. It is handled very well by Annabelle, but still may be triggering to some.

ARC Review: Mrs. Brodie’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies by Shana Galen and Theresa Romain

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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Mrs. Brodie’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies by Shana Galen and Theresa Romain

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Blurb

Mrs. Brodie’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies appears exclusive and respectable, a place for daughters of the gentry to glean the accomplishments that will win them suitable husbands.

But the academy is not what it seems. It’s more.

Alongside every lesson in French or dancing or mathematics, the students learn the skills they’ll need to survive in a man’s world. They forge; they fight; they change their accents to blend into a world apart. And the staff at the academy find a haven from their pasts…and lose their hearts.

The Way to A Gentleman’s Heart by Theresa Romain

Eight years ago, impoverished gentleman’s daughter Marianne Redfern fled her Lincolnshire home when her first love was forced to wed another. At Mrs. Brodie’s Academy, she learned the arts of cookery and self-defense—and as head cook, she can manage her staff, feed hundreds, and take down thieves. But she has no defense against Jack Grahame’s unexpected arrival two weeks before a dinner that will secure the academy’s fortunes.

Now a wealthy widower, Jack still has a wicked twinkle in his eye and a place in Marianne’s heart. Before long, he’s at her side in the kitchen all day and the bedchamber all night. But forgiveness doesn’t come together as easily as a sauce, and the wounds of the past could ruin Jack and Marianne’s chance at a future…

Counterfeit Scandal by Shana Galen

Bridget Lavery gave up her son Jimmy when she was sent to debtor’s prison. Now that she’s free and has found steady work at the academy as a teacher of art and counterfeiting, she’s desperate to reunite with her son—but he’s lost in the warrens of London’s streets. When she encounters Caleb Harris, a man from her past—a man she thought was dead—he agrees to help in her search. But both Bridget and Caleb have secrets. Some of them deadly…

Caleb Harris is a man with a price on his head. He knew his work during the war was dangerous, but he didn’t think it would haunt him the rest of his life. Before he left for the war, he and Bridget had a passionate affair. Finding her again means everything to him. He wants to help her and he definitely still loves her, but loving her might just be too dangerous for either of them.

My Review

The Way to A Gentleman’s Heart by Theresa Romain

My Rating: ❤❤❤ 1/2 Spice Level: 💋💋

I love a past love story and that this one was very different in how things happened. Family came first and tore them apart, but he never stopped loving her. I really liked how he came back into her life and helped in the kitchen. The story about his sister was a surprise and explained a lot.

Marianne found her own way after having her life flipped upside down. I liked that she didn’t hate him for doing what he had to for his family. I couldn’t really understand her reasons for not seeing or writing to her family.

Jack did what he had to and never gave up on getting her back. I really like him and that he made sure her family was okay. He didn’t really let money go to his head and wasn’t afraid of work.

Counterfeit Scandal by Shana Galen

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

This one will suck you in from the start! The war tore them apart, but they were meant to be together. I loved that they worked together to find Jimmy and it brought them closer. There are a couple of scenes that had me holding my breath waiting to see what happened. The ending was perfect.

Bridget had a very hard life and her son his the driving force that keeps her going. I loved her right away with how honest she was with the girls about things. She put her anger aside and opened her heart again.

Caleb is always looking over his shoulder because his former work haunts him. I loved that he was determined to be honest with her and not hide anything again. He still wanted to protect her.

Disclaimer

Review: The Blood and the Bloom (Men of Blood Book 1) by Rosamund Winchester

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

rosa

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The Blood and the Bloom by Rosamund Winchester

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Links (3)

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Blurb

1410 A.D. – A man of honor, Sir Tristin LaDeux is the fearless and fierce captain of the Homme du Sang, a chivalric order, called to defend The Church and enforce its edicts. Known throughout Europe for his dedication to his cause, Tristin thinks nothing of embarking on a mission to arrest a common woman, suspected of witchcraft, and bring her to justice.

Practical, intelligent, and beautiful, Bell Heather Caire is determined to make her own way in life, using her skills and knowledge as the village apothecary. She spends her days making salves and powders, worrying not for the ways and means of men — especially the selfish, depraved Willem Mason, a man as determined to have her as she is determined to be left alone.

When Tristin comes upon Bell Heather bathing in a waterfall, he is immediately enchanted, but when he discovers that she is the witch he’s been ordered to arrest, everything within him revolts. His head tells him to follow orders, but his heart and his body crave the lush little wench with dirt beneath her nails and light in her soul.

As Tristin gives in to his desire for Bell Heather, she realizes she wants more than just herbs and solitude—she wants Tristin and the fire he ignites in her blood. But can these two have what they want most when the very thing Tristin believes in is trying to destroy him? And does Bell Heather have a chance against an evil man willing to risk everything to break her?

Can the man of blood and the lovely bloom find a place for themselves in a world ready to tear them apart?

The Blood and The Bloom is a part of the MEN OF BLOOD series, but can be enjoyed as a stand alone.

My Review

A knight in shining armor, an independent woman accused of being a witch, and a villain that will make your skin crawl. What more can you ask for!! I have read this book twice now and couldn’t put it down until I was finished each time. You will be on the edge of your seat from page one and never know what is coming next or guess how things will end. There’s a spark between them from the moment they lay eyes on each other, but it is not a fairytale road to love for them. Sword fights, kidnapping, and a dungeon meet them at every turn and have you sucked into the story. People will get what they deserve in the end and you will be cheering at the end.

Bell Heather will not be owned by any man and will do anything to help others. I loved her from the start because she stands her ground and stays positive most of the time. She is as strong as any man and will sacrifice her happiness to protect others. I laughed when she said what she needed to do and how she talked with the men at times.

Tristin is in his eyes a fallen man that failed his father years ago. He is a true knight that will not question his missions and is all about duty. I loved him from the start because he is loved by his men and doesn’t come off as cold and heartless. He wore his emotions on his sleeve when it came to Bell Heather. The scenes with his father and him are amazing.

You will love getting to know the other men.

I said this villain will make your skin crawl so be prepared. There isn’t anything very graphic, but he could be triggering to some with the things he does to women.

Disclaimer

 

ARC Review: A Suitable Wife (The Fitzgeralds of Dublin #2) by Lorna Peel

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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A Suitable Wife by Lorna Peel

Releases September 5, 2018

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Links (3)

Amazon

Blurb

The lives of the Fitzgerald family are about to change forever…

Dublin, Ireland, 1881. Will and Isobel Fitzgerald settle into number 30 Fitzwilliam Square, a home they could once only have dreamed of. A baby is on the way, Will takes over the Merrion Street Upper medical practice from his father and they are financially secure. But when Will is handed a letter from his elder brother, Edward, stationed with the army in India, the revelations it contains only serves to further alienate Will from his father.

Isobel is eager to adapt to married life on Fitzwilliam Square but soon realises her past can never be laid to rest. The night she met Will in a brothel on the eve of his best friend’s wedding has devastating and far-reaching consequences which will change the lives of the Fitzgerald family forever.

My Review

AMAZING!!! This book not only continues the story of Will and Isobel, but also those around them with many twists, shocking stories, and wonderful surprises. Just like in A Scarlet Woman Lorna covers a range of real subjects that play a part in the whole story. There are heartbreaking moments, but plenty of happy ones to heal those heartbreaking ones. I did not see everything about his brother happening or any of what happened with Fred coming. I really did not expect the twist when she had the baby after everything else. All of the characters are like real people because they aren’t perfect, don’t always do things you want, and do things they shouldn’t, but you love in the end. Loved the godparent frenzy.

Isobel continues to show how strong she is in every situation. She keeps a calm head at every turn and can calm anyone down. I loved that she still didn’t care what people thought about her including those close to her. She also doesn’t hold back with anyone including her father in law.

Will was put through the ringer this time, but he also kept his head high. He had his friends and Isobel around him to keep him afloat when he needed it the most. I worried about him at times when the hits just kept coming, but he didn’t let it pull him down.

This book handles subjects that could be triggering to some. It handles infant loss, miscarriage, suicide, adultery, and sexuality. They are all handled very well and are a part of the whole story like in A Scarlet Woman.

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