New Release Review and Giveaway! THE LAWRENCE BROWNE AFFAIR by Cat Sebastian

 

Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives? 
 
 
THE LAWRENCE BROWNE AFFAIR
Cat Sebastian
Releasing Feb 7th, 2017
Avon Impulse
An earl hiding from his future . . . 

Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is mad. At least, that’s what he and most of the village believes. A brilliant scientist, he hides himself away in his family’s crumbling estate, unwilling to venture into the outside world. When an annoyingly handsome man arrives at Penkellis, claiming to be Lawrence’s new secretary, his carefully planned world is turned upside down.

A swindler haunted by his past . . . 

Georgie Turner has made his life pretending to be anyone but himself. A swindler and con man, he can slip into an identity faster than he can change clothes. But when his long-dead conscience resurrects and a dangerous associate is out for blood, Georgie escapes to the wilds of Cornwall. Pretending to be a secretary should be easy, but he doesn’t expect that the only madness he finds is the one he has for the gorgeous earl.

Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives? 

Challenging each other at every turn, the two men soon give into the desire that threatens to overwhelm them. But with one man convinced he is at the very brink of madness and the other hiding his real identity, only true love can make this an affair to remember.

 

Cornwall, 1816

CHAPTER ONE

All this fuss about a couple of small explosions. As far as Lawrence cared, the explosions were entirely beside the point. He had finished experimenting with fuses weeks ago. More importantly, this was his house to burn to the ground if that’s what he wanted to do with it. Hell, if he blew the godforsaken place up, and himself right along with it, the only person who would even be surprised was the man sitting before him.

“Five servants quit,” Halliday said, tapping Lawrence’s desk in emphasis. Dust puffed up in tiny clouds around the vicar’s fingertips. “Five. And you were woefully understaffed even before then.”

Five fewer servants? So that was why the house had been so pleasantly quiet, why his work had been so blissfully undisturbed.

“There was no danger to the servants. You know I keep them away from my work.” That was something Lawrence insisted on even when he wasn’t exploding things. The very idea of chattering maids underfoot was enough to discompose his mind even further. “And I conducted most of the actual explosions out of doors.” Now was probably not the time to mention that he had blown the roof off the conservatory.

“All I’m suggesting is a sort of secretary.” Halliday was dangerously unaware of how close he was to witnessing an explosion of the metaphorical variety. “Somebody to keep records of what you’ve mixed together and whether it’s likely to”—he puffed his cheeks out and made a strange noise and an expansive gesture that Lawrence took to represent explosion—“ignite.”

The Reverend Arthur Halliday did not know what was good for him. If he did, he would have fled the room as soon as he saw Lawrence reach for the inkwell. Lawrence’s fingers closed around the object, preparing to hurl it at the wall behind the vicar’s head. Sod the man for even suggesting Lawrence didn’t know how to cause an explosion. He hadn’t invented Browne’s Improved Black Powder or even that bloody safety fuse through blind luck, for God’s sake.

“Besides,” Halliday went on, “you said you need an extra set of hands for this new device you’re working on.”

Oh, damn and blast. Lawrence knew he shouldn’t have told the vicar. But he had hoped Halliday might volunteer to help with the device himself, not badger Lawrence into hiring some stranger. The vicar was convenient enough, and when he wasn’t dead set on sticking his nose where it didn’t belong, he wasn’t entirely unpleasant company.

“I’ve had secretaries,” Lawrence said from between gritted teeth. “It ends badly.”

“Well, obviously, but that’s because you go out of your way to terrify them.” Halliday glanced pointedly at the inkwell Lawrence still held.

And there again was Halliday missing the point entirely. Lawrence didn’t need to go out of his way to frighten anyone. All he had to do was simply exist. Everyone with any sense kept a safe distance from the Mad Earl of Radnor, as surely as they stayed away from rabid dogs and coiled asps. And explosive devices, for that matter.

Except for the vicar, who came to Penkellis Castle three times a week. He likely also called on bedridden old ladies and visited the workhouse. Maybe his other charity cases were grateful, but the notion that he was the vicar’s good deed made Lawrence’s fingers curl grimly around the inkwell as he plotted its trajectory through the air.

“I’ll take care of the details,” Halliday was saying. “I’ll write the advertisement and handle the inquiries. A good secretary might even be able to manage the household a bit,” the vicar said with the air of a man warming to his topic, “get it into a fit condition for the child—”

“No.” Lawrence didn’t raise his voice, but he slammed his fist onto the desk, causing ink to splatter all over the blotter and the cuff of his already-inky shirt. A stack of papers slid from the desk onto the floor, leaving a single dustless patch of wood where they had been piled. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a spider scurry out from under the papers.

“True,” Halliday continued, undaunted. “A housekeeper would be more appropriate, but—”

“No.” Lawrence felt the already fraying edges of his composure unraveling fast. “Simon is not coming here.”

“You can’t keep him off forever, you know, now that he’s back in England. It’s his home, and he’ll own it one day.”

When Lawrence was safely dead and buried, Simon was welcome to come here and do what he pleased. “I don’t want him here.” Penkellis was no place for a child, madmen were not fit guardians, and nobody knew those facts better than Lawrence himself, who had been raised under precisely those conditions.

Halliday sighed. “Even so, Radnor, you have to do something about this.” He gestured around the room, which Lawrence thought looked much the same as ever. One hardly even noticed the scorch marks unless one knew where to look. “It can’t be safe to live in such a way.”

Safety was not a priority, but even Lawrence wasn’t mad enough to try to explain that to the vicar.

“Villagers won’t even walk past the garden wall anymore. And the stories they invent…” The vicar wrung his hands. “A secretary. Please. It would ease my mind to know you had someone up here with you.”

A keeper, then. Even worse.

But Lawrence did need another set of hands to work on the communication device. If Halliday wouldn’t help, then Lawrence had no other options. God knew Halliday had been right about the local people not wanting anything to do with him.

“Fine,” he conceded. “You write the advertisement and tell me when to expect the man.” He’d say what he needed to in order to end this tiresome conversation and send the vicar on his way.

It wasn’t as if this secretary would last more than a week or two anyway. Lawrence would see to that.

 I really enjoyed Ms. Sebastian’s first book set in this universe ( The Soldier’s Scoundrel ) and was so happy to see that Georgie (Jack’s brother) was going to get a book–I’m thrilled to say it did not disappoint! Somehow, it was an even better read than Jack and Oliver’s book–and that’s saying something 🙂

Once again Ms. Sebastian gives us two characters who are absolutely delicious together, who don’t at all intend to at the beginning but end up making life for the other one worlds better at the story’s end. Georgie, who grew up in deplorable conditions, has been a highly effective con man for his entire life, but it’s never really sat right with him and lately has been developing a conscience, which has him at odds with the crime boss he’s worked for since forever. Lawrence grew up with an unstable and cruel father and brother and was told from an early age that his sexual orientation was shameful and wrong. He’s isolated himself in his (literally) crumbling ancestral home, behaving like a brilliant but more than a little mad scientist. He lives in fear that he really will go mad, as his father and brother did before him, and it colors almost everything he does.

Together these two were just magic. Both their friendship and their relationship was slow moving but oh so satisfying, and I loved watching Georgie sllloooowly make Lawrence’s home, his very existence better and more comfortable. And then the last 20% when Lawrence returned the favor? OMG. I was completely unable to stop reading from that point to the very end, for any reason at all. So. Good. Throw in some wonderfully humorous writing and great secondary characters (Simon! Uncle Courtenay, hero of book 3!) and you have an all-around fantastic read.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.


New Release Review! AT CLOSE RANGE by Laura Griffin (Tracers #11)

When her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly get out of control.
AT CLOSE RANGE
A Tracers Novel 
Laura Griffin
Releasing Jan 31st, 2017
Pocket Books
New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin “delivers the goods” (Publishers Weekly) again with the eleventh title in the gritty, heart-pounding Tracers series.

When a lakeside tryst ends in a double murder, police detective Daniele Harper arrives on the scene determined to get answers. Clues are everywhere, but nothing adds up. Dani turns to the Delphi Center crime lab for help, but soon regrets it when her secret attraction to their chief firearms examiner threatens to distract her from the most important case of her career.

As a ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black knows firearms, and he knows he can help Dani unravel her case. Scott has managed to hide his interest in his best friend’s younger sister for years, but when her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly get out of control. Scott resolves to keep his hands off Dani and his eyes on the goal—identifying a killer. But when that killer zeroes in on Dani, all bets are off. There isn’t a line Scott won’t cross to convince Dani to trust him so that he can help her take down a ruthless murderer who has her in his sights. 

 

Dani watched him. Scott stood beside the car, his back to the victim as he skimmed his flashlight over the ground. The firearms expert was tall and broad-shouldered, with the super-ripped body of a former Navy SEAL. Instead of his usual tactical pants and combat boots, he wore jeans and a leather jacket tonight, so maybe he’d been out when he’d gotten the call. Dani knew from experience that his jacket had nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with the Sig Sauer he carried concealed at his hip.

Something glinted in the grass, and Scott crouched down to tag it with a numbered marker. Two minutes on the scene and already he’d discovered a piece of evidence. He stood and squared his shoulders, and Dani felt a pang deep inside her as he approached.

He stopped and towered over her, and for a moment they just stared at each other.

“Was the passenger door closed when you got here?” he asked.

“That’s right.”

“Where’s the girl?”

“No sign of her.” She nodded at the woods. “One of our officers is searching near the lake with Travis.”

He watched her for a moment with those cool blue eyes. His gaze shifted to the woods. “You need a K-9 team.”

She bristled. “I know.”

He strode over to his truck and opened the toolbox again. He took out a metal detector, which would help him locate shell casings or bullets, and maybe even the second victim if she was wearing jewelry or a belt.

Then again, the killer might have taken her somewhere else. Dani glanced back at the road and got a queasy feeling in her stomach. Where was she? She turned her attention to the lake, visible just beyond the trees. It was a scenic spot, usually–a tranquil little oasis for couples. But not tonight.

She glanced at Scott again, and he was watching her closely–so closely it made her wonder what he was thinking.

“You coming?” he asked.

She nodded at the body. “I’ll stay with him until the ME shows.”

Scott walked off, and Dani let her gaze follow him until he disappeared into the woods.

The medical examiner’s van rolled up, followed closely by Ric, and Dani’s stomach tightened as she thought of everything she didn’t like about this case. And it wasn’t even an hour old yet.

Ric walked over, his expression grim as he took in the scene. “The media has it.”

“That didn’t take long.”

“It was all over the scanner,” he told her. “I give us ten minutes, tops, before they roll in here with their cameras. We need to barricade the road.”

“Daniele.”

She turned toward the sound of Scott’s deep voice calling her from the woods. He was a tall silhouette at the edge of the trees, and from his tone Dani knew it was bad.

“What is it?” she yelled back.

“I found her.”

##

Copyright 2017 by Laura Griffin

I have GOT to go back and read the beginning of this series! Seriously, I. Am. Loving. Them!

At Close Range delivers one heck of a suspense plot–a double murder that appears to be a crime of passion suddenly turns into a complex crime with a body count that is twice that, and the perpetrator soon appears to have the police detective who is put in charge of the case in his or her cross-hairs as well. Throw in a slow burning romance–SMPD detective Dani Harper has had a “thing” for Delphi Center’s ballistics expert Scott Black, her older brother’s best friend, since she was a teen, and has been trying to avoid him for months since a drunken New Year’s Eve kiss led to awkwardness. But now they’re working together, trying to solve the puzzle before anyone else gets killed, literally dodging bullets and finding resisting each other to be harder than ever.

So, yeah–it’s an incredible ride!

At Close Range had me on the edge of my seat, guessing what was really going on right up until the very end. And the chemistry between Scott and Dani? Fantastic. Adding to the drama of the book is the fact that Dani’s partner, Ric Santos and his wife Mia (hero and heroine of Unforgivable ) spend the bulk of the book waiting for their first baby to be born–Baby Santos is amazingly unwilling to make his debut–and there’s a hint that detective Sean Byrne and Delphi’s Center Brooke Porter might be subjects of a future series book–fingers crossed!

Whomever’s next on the list, though, you’d better believe I’ll be first in line for it!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


New York Times
 and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book.
 

New Release Review! PLAYING THE PLAYER by Amy Andrews (Sydney Smoke Rugby #3)

Title: Playing the Player
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby #3
Author: Amy Andrews
Release Date: Jan 30, 2017
Add to TBR
 

After a long history with crappy guys, high school teacher Em Newman is going man-vegan. Four months of revirginization has opened her eyes to her doormat imitation but, baby’s got spine now, and some smooth-talking—even if he is sinfully hot—rugby player, won’t be adding her as a notch anytime soon.

Lincoln Quinn loves rugby, women, and poker. And he likes to win at all three. When his team mates bet him he can’t break through Em’s resolve, he’s more than up for the challenge. But this lady has a shoebox of stipulations before she’ll even go on a date with him, much less use that mouth for kissing instead of giving orders.

Something’s gotta give but this time Em’s not settling. And Linc’s questioning everything he ever knew about matters of the heart.

Each book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Playing By Her Rules
Book #2 Playing it Cool
Book #3 Playing the Player

 
  

Linc rang Em at the same time he had the day before. Every part of him ached from a morning of gruelling training, but in a good way. The kind of way that made him grateful for his fitness, that made him feel alive. And pumped.

Pumped to make this phone call. Pumped to hear Em say yes.

“Hi, Em Newman speaking.”

She had one of those teacher’s voices. Firm but kind, with just enough fuck-with-me-and-I’ll-send-you-to-the-principal edge to keep a guy in line. That kind of voice that had never really worked on him when he’d been in high school, but then he’d never had a teacher as sexy as Em Newman, either.

He might have turned up more often if he had.

“I think I’ve been going about this all the wrong way,” he said, picturing her sitting at her desk, her mouth pressing close to the phone receiver so she wasn’t overheard.

“I’ve been going for traditional names. But it’s not Ermintrude. Or Emma. Or Emily or Emmeline. So I’m thinking now your parents might be hippies, and it’s actually something like Ember. Or Emerald.”

There was a long pause then a deep sigh. “Why do you care?”

“I want to be able to call you by your real name.”

“Well, the kids call me Miss Newman.”

Linc chuckled. “Oh. Don’t tempt me.”

Another heavy sigh. “Are you just going to ring me every lunch hour?”

“Sure. If I have to.”

“Don’t you have…push-ups to do? Or something? Balls to kick. Tries to score?”

He grinned. “Training finishes at twelve, and in case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to score right now.”

“Linc…” He’d have to have been deaf not to hear the exasperation in her voice. “I have papers to mark.”

“You are hell on a man’s ego, Miss Newman.” He loved the way “Miss” rolled off his tongue, and a dozen dirty thoughts about naughty teachers with crazy curls bending over to help a student with a problem, their shirts gaping to reveal pretty bras flitted through his head with a predictable effect on his dick.

Who knew teachers could be such a fucking turn-on?

Certainly not a guy who’d spent a good portion of his life avoiding them at all costs.

She snorted. “I have a feeling your ego couldn’t be brought down with an elephant gun.”

He laughed, not even bothering to try and dissuade her from the accuracy of her statement. “The Nerd Chicks are in town on Friday night.”

She didn’t say anything for a beat or two. “You know who the Nerd Chicks are?”

“I do now.”

Linc had spent a long time online last night trying to come up with something that’d blow Em’s mind. He’d finally found An Evening with the Nerd Chicks. Apparently they were three women with science backgrounds who ran a popular YouTube channel discussing all things science and had taken their show on the road.

“We should go together.”

There was another pause, but he thought he could hear her breath hitch. “Top marks for trying, Linc. But it’s sold out. It sold out in about half an hour.”

“Lucky for you I have two V.I.P. tickets.”

He definitely heard her breath this time. Hissing slowly out this time in a long exhale. “Thank you but…no.”

“No? Did I mention you get to meet them afterwards?”

A soft noise that sort of sounded like a whimper or maybe even a low growl caressed his eardrum. “I said no.”

But it was the most unconvincing no Linc had ever heard. He could practically feel her conflict. “Come on, Miss Newman,” he pressed. “Why deprive yourself?”

“Because, Linc,” she muttered, her voice terse, “afterwards I’ll probably fuck you in your ridiculously sexy car.”

Linc’s pulse spiked at her direct prediction. Even if she had sounded utterly depressed over it. He laughed. “And that’s a bad thing?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. What if I promise to not let you fuck me in my car? Or anywhere else?”

It wasn’t going to win him the bet—but he really didn’t give a fuck anymore. Linc just really wanted to take her to the show. Because she obviously wanted to go.

She snorted. “I can be very persuasive.”

Review:

I loved Em and Linc’s story–there’s nothing more satisfying than a player finally falling for the one, amirite?

Okay, yes, Linc was a total man you-know-what throughout books one and two of the series ( Playing by Her Rules and Playing It Cool ) and speaks of it proudly in the opening scenes of this one. And yeah, the impetus for Em and Linc getting together here is (kind of) an ill-advised bet. However, he’s pretty much a one-woman-man from the first page through to the last–before they get together and while they’re mired in their darkest relationship moment, he doesn’t even think about other women. And even though Linc takes the poker night bet, it’s never really a part of why he pursues Em; when it eventually comes to light she knows better than to be worried about it (which made me really happy–I was pretty worried that we’d spend an inordinate amount of time on this nonissue.)

I should have known better than to worry, though–this is an Amy Andrews book! Instead of the same-old-same-old pretty much pointless drama, we have a developing relationship between two adults that both made me laugh out loud on one page and reach for a fan to cool down on the next. And then the grand gesture at the end? OMG, le sigh. Absolutely perfect.

I still know next to nothing about rugby–how many people are on a team, again? (and yeah, I only want to know to get a ballpark figure of how many books to expect in the series ;))–but I sure do enjoy reading about the fictional guys who play it. Add in a wealth of Aussie-isms (many of which are conveniently defined in the back of the book–some of the used in a sentence bits made me snort-laugh a little) and I am 100% sold. How long do I need to wait for #4?

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Amy is a multi award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written over sixty contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She’s sold over two million books and been translated into thirteen different languages including manga. Her sizzling books feature lots of sex and kissing. She likes to make her readers tingle, laugh and sigh and please don’t mess with the HEA!

At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and she did. They’re still living out their HEA and have two new adult children who are spreading their wings and flying the coop. She loves good books, frequent travel and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else.

Amy spent six years on the national executive of Romance Writers of Australia including a two year term as president and after many years of unofficial mentoring of emerging writers, now runs her own manuscript assessment business, Word Witchery, which specialises in romantic fiction. With unique insight into what makes a story that sells, Amy aims to help every manuscript shine.

She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

  

New Release Review! ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #3)

Accidentally on Purpose
by Jill Shalvis

 

Synopsis:

There’s no such thing as a little in love…

Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .

There’s no such thing as a little in lust…

Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .

There is such a thing as…

As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along…

Review:

Loved.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Elle and Archer’s book and am happy to report that it definitely did not disappoint. The chemistry those two have been giving off in this series practically leapt off the pages–I’m not sure who was more relieved when they finally gave into it, them or me 🙂

Though before that, watching Archer sabotage Elle’s dates and then her explode at him afterwards? That was pretty satisfying too.

As usual, seeing this group of friends interact is almost as much fun as watching the hero and heroine get together. Spencer must have his own book ASAP! (He does, but not until next SeptemberChasing Christmas Eve. Next. September.) If you haven’t read the other books yet, this one could definitely work as a standalone. Though you would miss out on some of the shared experiences that the friends have gone through in the other 2.5 books that are mentioned here, it’s not a major deal (though it’ll probably inspire you to increase your TBR by two novels and a novella, this isn’t a problem either, surely?)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

New Release Review and Giveaway! THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER by Katee Robert (Hidden Sins #1)

FBI agent Eden Collins is going home… to catch a killer.  Fans of Audey Harte’s It Takes One and Kendra Elliott’s Bone Secrets series, will devour The Devil’s Daughter, the fast-paced and suspenseful first book, in the Hidden Sins series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

 

Title: The Devil’s Daughter
Author: Katee Robert
Series: Hidden Sins #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Print Length:  316 pages
Format: Digital and Paperback
ISBN: 1503940918

 

Synopsis:

Growing up in a small town isn’t easy, especially when you’re the daughter of a local cult leader. Ten years ago, Eden Collins left Clear Springs, Montana, and never once looked back. But when the bodies of murdered young women surface, their corpses violated and marked with tattoos worn by her mother’s followers, Eden, now an FBI agent, can’t turn a blind eye. To catch the killer, she’s going to have to return to the fold.

Sheriff Zach Owens isn’t comfortable putting Eden in danger, even if she is an elite agent. And he certainly wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to her. As calm and cool as she appears, he knows this can’t be a happy homecoming. Zach wants to protect her—from her mother, the cult, and the evil that lurks behind its locked gates. But Eden is his only key to the tight-lipped group, and she may just be closer to the killer than either one of them suspects…

Excerpt:

“This is stupid. Get out of the car. Get out of the car right now.”

She threw her body into motion, half-afraid that if she didn’t force herself to move, she’d sit there until someone decided to report her for being creepy. Who am I kidding? The people in this place are just as likely to knock on the window and ask me if I need any help.

The fall air had a little bite to it, and she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Home.

No. It’s not home. It’ll never be home again.

She’d made a life for herself in the FBI, and if she didn’t have much in the way of roots . . . Well, she’d left the possibility of roots behind when she left Clear Springs. Most days it didn’t even bother her that much. She was doing good in the world, using her nontraditional childhood to give her an edge that had helped her make a name for herself over the last six years in the cult division. She was Eden Collins, FBI agent. She wasn’t that scared little girl. Not anymore.

One step at a time, she made her way into the police station. She’d half expected it to be a whirl of motion, with people rushing here and there, trying to come to terms with the fact that death had touched their small town. But there was no one in the room except a man sitting behind the desk in the corner, glaring at the phone on his desk.

Zach Owens.

The golden boy of Clear Springs in every sense. His blond hair was still cropped short, hearkening back to his days as a marine, and his body was obviously well taken care of. This wasn’t a man who’d let his years working in a sleepy little town turn him soft.

While Zach took her in, she conducted her own perusal. She’d never met him personally, but she knew him by reputation and pieces of information stolen via eavesdropping. He’d gone off to war a boy and come back a man with shadows in his eyes. Or maybe she was just seeing him with rose-tinted glasses, the tragic figure representing everything she’d never have. Acceptance. Loyalty. The love of the people here.

Something like jealousy curled through her stomach. It was silly and childish and she was better than that, but it was hard not to resent someone who so obviously fit. Eden had done a bit of traveling since she’d turned eighteen and run as far and fast as she could from her mother, but she’d never found a place that was well and truly hers.

He caught sight of her and narrowed his eyes. “Can I help you?”

Being pinned in place by those blue eyes made her second-guess the intelligence of her plan yet again. It didn’t matter. He needed her help, even if he didn’t know it yet. She stepped forward. “I’m here about the body.”

Review:

Crack this one open and prepare to hang on!

The mystery of The Devil’s Daughter kept me guessing, right up until the big reveal. I had an idea about one of the antagonists–though that one felt like an outside chance–but the other one took me by complete surprise. The suspense was well-written, keeping the reader right on the edge for the entire book. I’ve never been so glad to have one last weekend before classes start up again, because it was going to be next to impossible to put this one down for more than a few minutes at a time–fortunately, I didn’t have to 🙂

I liked how Eden’s mother used a hybrid blend of the myth of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades and other similar world myths to base her “religion” on–the creepy practices of the people of Elysia, combined with the way the killers twisted them to their own purposes gave me chills. Every time that Zach glanced up toward where the cult’s compound was, even when he couldn’t see it from where he was in town, I swear it gave me the chills.

I can’t wait to see where Ms. Roberts is going with this series!

My only complaint is that the romance here really takes a back seat to the suspense part of the story–understandable, since there’s so much going on, with dead bodies and more lives at stake and all–but once the mystery is solved and the antagonists are dealt with we’re left with more of a HFN than a HEA–the specific “hows” of their relationship are very much still up in the air. Hopefully, that’s because Ms. Robert is going to give us (a lot) more Eden and Zach in future books; I definitely want to see more of these two together, watching them grow as a couple. (subtle hint) Either way, though, sign me up for book two!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Get More information at:  Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram |

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE COWBOY’S TWINS by Tara Taylor Quinn (Family Secrets #3)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Cowboy’s Twins
(Family Secrets #3)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
January 3rd 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

It looked so good on camera…

If it weren’t for the money, Spencer Longfellow would happily drive Natasha Stevens and her TV crew right off his ranch. But his land, and his kids, mean the world to him—and he’ll do anything to secure their future. Even cohost Natasha’s cooking show, Family Secrets, in his barn. Even play the token hunky cowboy to her sophisticated city slicker and flirt with her on national television… It could never amount to anything real anyway. After all, he was fooled and left in the dust by a city girl once. And he will never let that happen to him—or his kids—again.

 

Review:

A delicious, angsty read!

Spencer and his twins, Justin and Tabitha, are an absolutely delightful family. He’s a great dad, always putting the two of them first in everything he does–even though they’re destined to turn him gray before he hits 40 😉 His love for them is absolute–but loving anyone else? Not going to happen. Been there, done that, no repeat needed, lesson learned. Which is why his attraction to Natasha, chef and host of the reality cooking show Family Secrets is so distressing to him. He is not going to fall for another city girl who has no place on his ranch, no way, no how.

Natasha’s not looking for love either–ever. She’s sure her crew is all the family she’ll ever need, except lately she’s been feeling…well, unsettled. Something’s missing. Something that might be kitten shaped. Or seven-year-old twins shaped. Or, heaven forbid, cowboy shaped. But no, that absolutely would not work out, so she’s just going to put the idea right out of her head and heart.

Well, except for the kitten. A kitten is doable.

Ms. Quinn did a great job of keeping the tension tight between these two–by seeing inside both of their heads, we understood why they each pushed their attraction away with both hands for so much of the book. It made our hearts hurt a little, but we got it. (It might also have made me whisper-scream with frustration, “Just kiss her already!” once or twice. Or perhaps three times. But who’s counting?) When they come up with a “business proposition” that they hope will be mutually beneficial for everyone but won’t include any deeper feelings (they think), I both longed for and dreaded the outcome. Surely it would lead to something more? Except if they wouldn’t let it…and maybe coming into it with such a contract-like attitude would doom it forever…argh! Did I mention the angst?

Ultimately, The Cowboy’s Twins was a highly satisfying romance. Though it did end a bit abruptly, it was a good ending, and since the series is based on Natasha’s show, I’ve got high hopes of seeing more of Natasha, Spencer, Tabitha, and Justin in future books!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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Other Books in the Series:

For Love or Money

For Love or Money
(Family Secrets #1)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She can’t afford to lose this…or him

There’s no way that struggling single mom Janie Young is going to lose Family Secrets. Not even to Dr. Burke Carter. The prize money and media exposure from the cooking-competition show will secure the future for her and her son, who has special needs. Sure, Burke is a talented chef with his own reasons to win, but he already has so much: wealth, a beautiful daughter, great looks…and definitely her attention. As their families become closer, Janie is beginning to care too much about him. But she can’t afford to get involved. Not when everything is riding on beating him.

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Her Soldier's Baby

Her Soldier’s Baby
(Family Secrets #2)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
November 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will the truth heal him–or tear them apart?

The baby she gave up for adoption long ago is a secret Eliza Westin has concealed from her husband. With good reason. Wounded soldier turned police officer Pierce Westin was Eliza’s high school sweetheart. He’s also her son’s father.

Seventeen years ago, Pierce went off to war unaware that he’d fathered a child. Eliza’s shot as a contestant on the Family Secrets cooking competition show is her chance to reconnect with the past. But once she finds her long-lost son, she can only hope that Pierce will embrace their newfound family. Or will Eliza lose the love of her life all over again?

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About the Author:

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. A 2015 RITA finalist Tara appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists, and multiple showings on the Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

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1 winner will receive ebooks of the first two books in the series, FOR LOVE OR MONEY and HER SOLDIER’S BABY
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Katie’s Clean Book Collection
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Rockin’ Book Reviews
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New Release Review! FOUR WEDDINGS AND A SIXPENCE Anthology by Julia Quinn, Stefanie Sloane, Elizabeth Boyle, and Laura Lee Guhrke

Four Weddings and a Sixpence: An Anthology
by Julia Quinn, Stefanie Sloane, Elizabeth Boyle, and Laura Lee Guhrke

Synopsis:

Beloved authors Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, and Stefanie Sloane deliver the stories of four friends from Madame Rochambeaux’s Gentle School for Girls who find an old sixpence in their bedchamber and decide that it will be the lucky coin for each of their weddings…

“Something Old”
Julia Quinn’s prologue introduces her heroine Beatrice Heywood and the premise for Four Weddings and a Sixpence.

“Something New”
In Stefanie Sloane’s unforgettable story, an ever-vigilant guardian decrees that Anne Brabourne must marry by her twenty-first birthday. But love finds her in the most unexpected of ways.

“Something Borrowed”
Elizabeth Boyle tells the tale of Cordelia Padley, who has invented a betrothed to keep her family from pestering her to wed. Now she’ll need to borrow one to convince them she’s found her true love.

“Something Blue”
In Laura Lee Guhrke’s story, unlucky Lady Elinor Daventry has her sixpence stolen from her and must convince the rake who pilfered the coin to return it in time for her own wedding.

“… and a Sixpence in Her Shoe”
Julia Quinn finishes with the story of Beatrice Heywood, who never believed that the sixpence was anything but a tarnished old coin—until it led all of her friends to true love. But her faith in the coin is tested when it keeps sending her to the wrong man!

 

Review:

What a cute idea! Anthologies are usually fun, but when the stories are interconnected like in this one? And by some of my favorite authors? Even better!

Four boarding school friends find an old sixpence in an unusual place and decide that it must be their lucky coin, destined to help all of them find husbands. Ten years later, none of the women fully believe in its “powers”, but neither are they willing to completely chuck the idea. Four stories follow, each getting its name from part of the “Something old, something new…” wedding superstition.

There wasn’t a bad story in the bunch! The first (Anne’s–a rake befriends her, says he’ll find her a husband before her required 21st birthday but then they accidentally fall for each other) and last stories (Bea’s, whose tendency to keep her eyes on the sky led her to a man who would fulfill her every wish) were definitely my favorites. The two in the middle were fun to read as well, though Cordelia’s relationship problem seemed to be fixed just a teensy bit easily and Ellie’s story had an awful lot going on in it, including some pretty dramatic 180-degree turns on the part of the heroine–altogther, though, the four got my 2017 reading off to an entertaining start.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! LADY CLAIRE IS ALL THAT by Maya Rodale (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #3)

 The one thing neither of them counted on is love . . .
LADY CLAIRE IS ALL THAT
Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #3
Maya Rodale
Releasing Dec 27th, 2016
Avon Books
Her Brains…
Claire Cavendish is in search of a duke, but not for the usual reasons. The man she seeks is a mathematician; the man she unwittingly finds is Lord Fox: dynamic, athletic, and as bored by the equations Claire adores as she is by the social whirl upon which he thrives. As attractive as Fox is, he’s of no use to Claire. . . or is he?
 
Plus His Brawn…
Fox’s male pride has been bruised ever since his fiancée jilted him. One way to recover: win a bet that he can transform Lady Claire, Society’s roughest diamond, into its most prized jewel. But Claire has other ideas—shockingly steamy ones. . .
 
Equals A Study In Seduction
By Claire’s calculations, Fox is the perfect man to satisfy her sensual curiosity. In Fox’s estimation, Claire is the perfect woman to prove his mastery of the ton. But the one thing neither of them counted on is love . . .
 

London, 1824

Lord and Lady Chesham’s ballroom

It was a truth universally acknowledged that Maximilian Frederick DeVere, Lord Fox, was God’s gift to the ladies of London. He was taller and brawnier than his peers and in possession of the sort of chiseled good looks—above and below the neck—that were more often found in works of classical art. By all accounts he was charming and universally liked by men and women alike, though for different reasons, of course. He won at two things, always: women and sport.

Fox strolled through the ballroom as if he owned the place. He nodded at friends and acquaintances—Carlyle, with whom he occasionally fenced, Fitzwalter, who he had soundly thrashed at boxing last week, and Willoughby, who was always game for a curricle race.

Fox flashed his famous grin as he heard the ladies’ usual comments when he strolled past.

“I think he just smiled at me.”

“I think I’m going to swoon.”

“God, Arabella Vaughn is one lucky woman.”

“Was,” someone corrected. “Didn’t you see the report in The London Weekly this morning?”

Fox’s grin faltered.

That was when Mr. Rupert Wright and Lord Mowbray found him. Their friendship stretched all the way back to their early days at Eton.

“We heard the news, Fox,” Rupert said grimly, clapping a hand on his shoulder.

“I daresay everyone has heard the news,” Fox replied dryly.

It didn’t escape his notice that the guests nearby had fallen silent. It was the first time he’d appeared in public since the news broke in the paper this morning, though Arabella had so kindly left him a note the day prior. Everyone was watching him to see how he would react, what he would say, if he would cry.

“Who would have thought we’d see this day?” Mowbray mused. “Miss Arabella Vaughn, darling of the haute ton, running off with an actor.”

“That alone would be scandalous,” Rupert said, adding, “Never mind that she has ditched Fox. Who is, apparently, considered a catch. What with his lofty title, wealth, and not hideous face.”

Fox’s Male Pride bristled. It’d been bristling and seething and enraged ever since the news broke that his beautiful, popular betrothed had left him to elope with some plebian actor.

Not just any actor, either, but Lucien Kemble. Yes, he was the current sensation among the haute ton, lighting up the stage each night in his role as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Covent Garden theater was sold out for the rest of the season. The gossip columns loved him, given his flair for dramatics both onstage and off—everything from tantrums to torrid love affairs to fits over his artistry. Women adored him; they may have sighed and swooned over Lucien Kemble as much as Fox.

To lose a woman to any other man was insupportable—and, until recently, not something that ever happened to him—but to lose her to someone who made his living prancing around onstage in tights? It was intolerable.

“Just who does she think she is?” Fox wondered aloud.

“She’s Arabella Vaughn. Beautiful. Popular. Enviable. Every young lady here aspires to be her. Every man here would like a shot with her,” Mowbray answered.

“She’s you, but in petticoats,” Rupert said, laughing.

It was true. He and Arabella were perfect together.

Like most men, he’d fallen for her at first sight after catching a glimpse of her across a crowded ballroom. She was beautiful in every possible way: a tall, lithe figure with full breasts; a mouth made for kissing and other things that gentlemen didn’t mention in polite company; blue eyes fringed in dark lashes; honey gold hair that fell in waves; a complexion that begged comparisons to cream and milk and moonlight.

Fox had taken one look at her and thought: mine.

They were a perfect match in beauty, wealth, social standing, all that. They both enjoyed taking the ton by storm. He remembered the pride he felt as they strolled through a ballroom arm in arm and the feeling of everyone’s eyes on them as they waltzed so elegantly.

They were great together.

They belonged together.

Fox also remembered the more private moments—so many stolen kisses, the intimacy of gently pushing aside a wayward strand of her golden hair, promises for their future as man and wife. They would have perfect children, and entertain the best of society, and generally live a life of wealth and pleasure and perfection, together.

Fox remembered his heart racing—nerves!—when he proposed because this beautiful girl he adored was going to be his.

And then she had eloped. With an actor.

It burned, that. Ever since he’d heard the news, Fox had stormed around in high dudgeon. He was not accustomed to losing.

“Take away her flattering gowns and face paint and she’s just like any other woman here,” Fox said, wanting it to be true so he wouldn’t feel the loss so keenly. “Look at her, for example.”

Rupert and Mowbray both glanced at the woman he pointed out—a short, frumpy young lady nervously sipping lemonade. She spilled some down the front of her bodice when she caught three men staring at her.

“If one were to offer her guidance on supportive undergarments and current fashions and get a maid to properly style her coiffure, why, she could be the reigning queen of the haute ton,” Fox pointed out.

Both men stared at him, slack jawed.

“You’ve never been known for being the sharpest tool in the shed, Fox, but now I think you’re really cracked,” Mowbray said. “You cannot just give a girl a new dress and make her popular.”

“Well, Mowbray, maybe you couldn’t. But I could.”

“Gentlemen . . .” Rupert cut in. “I don’t care for the direction of this conversation.”

“You honestly think you can do it,” Mowbray said, awed.

He turned to face Mowbray and drew himself up to his full height, something he did when he wanted to be imposing. His Male Pride had been wounded and his competitive spirit—always used to winning—was spoiling for an opportunity to triumph.

“I know I can,” Fox said with the confidence of a man who won pretty much everything he put his mind to—as long as it involved sport, or women. Arabella had been his first, his only, loss. A fluke, surely.

“Well, that calls for a wager,” Mowbray said.

The two gentlemen stood eye to eye, the tension thick. Rupert groaned.

“Name your terms,” Fox said.

“I pick the girl.”

“Fine.”

“This is a terrible idea,” Rupert said. He was probably right, but he was definitely ignored.

“Let me see . . . who shall I pick?” Mowbray made a dramatic show of looking around the ballroom at all the ladies nearby. There were at least a dozen of varying degrees of pretty and pretty hopeless.

Then Mowbray’s attentions fixed on one particular woman. Fox followed his gaze, and when he saw who his friend had in mind, his stomach dropped.

“No.”

“Yes,” Mowbray said, a cocky grin stretching across his features.

“Unfortunately dressed I can handle. Shy, stuttering English miss who at least knows the rules of society? Sure. But one of the Americans?”

Fox let the question hang there. The Cavendish family had A Reputation the minute the news broke that the new Duke of Durham was none other than a lowly horse trainer from the former colonies. He and his sisters were scandalous before they even set foot in London. Since their debut in society, they hadn’t exactly managed to win over the haute ton, either, to put it politely.

“Now, they’re not all bad,” Rupert said. “I quite like Lady Bridget . . .”

But Fox was still in shock and Mowbray was enjoying it too much to pay any mind to Rupert’s defense of the Americans.

“The bluestocking?”

That was the thing: Mowbray hadn’t picked just any American, but the one who already had a reputation for being insufferably intelligent, without style or charm to make herself more appealing to the gentlemen of the ton. She was known to bore a gentleman to tears by discussing not the weather, or hair ribbons, or gossip of mutual acquaintances, but math.

Lady Claire Cavendish seemed destined to be a hopeless spinster and social pariah.

Even the legendary Duchess of Durham, aunt to the new duke and his sisters, hadn’t yet been able to successfully launch them into society and she’d already had weeks to prepare them! It seemed insane that Fox should succeed where the duchess failed.

But Fox and his Male Pride had never, not once, backed away from a challenge, especially not when the stakes had never been higher. He knew two truths about himself: he won at women and he won at sport.

He was a winner.

And he was not in the mood for soul searching or crafting a new identity when the old one suited him quite well. Given this nonsense with Arabella, he had to redeem himself in the eyes of the ton, not to mention his own. It was an impossible task, but one that Fox would simply have to win.

“Her family is hosting a ball in a fortnight,” Mowbray said. “I expect you to be there—with Lady Claire on your arm as the most desirable and popular woman in London.”

Loved!

I absolutely adore this series (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes)! Three (each oh-so-awkward in their own way) American girls and their newly-made-a-reluctant-duke older brother tossed head first into the ton? Can it get any better than this? And yet every book seems to do just that…

One thing that I especially love is that all of these books take place synchronously, so it really doesn’t make a huge difference what order you read the books in–there are, of course, elements of the other stories mentioned throughout, but you’re really given just enough information in each story about the others’ for that particular story to make sense, without too many spoilers. James’s story looks to continue this trend, so, yay 🙂

Claire and Lord Fox were every bit as awesome as I’d hoped they’d be when reading Bridget and Amelia’s books ( Lady Bridget’s Diary and Chasing Lady Amelia ). Both of them present themselves to the world in a specific way, for different reasons. Claire uses her love of mathematics to try to drive away the boring men of the ton (and yep, it works pretty well), and Fox does everything he can to project to the world his winning image–he wins in sports, and wins with women. He’s puzzled at first when his usual charms don’t appear to work on Lady Claire (she doesn’t remember meeting him the second time they encounter each other, LOL), but he doesn’t think too much of it–until he makes an ill-advised bet with a soon to be former friend of his. Or isit ill-advised? Without it, he never would have gotten to know Claire…

Of course he also would’t have had to sit through so many Royal Society of Boring People to Death with Numbers meetings either, so….

(Kidding. They were totally worth it, even if he did want to bang his head on something hard halfway through some of them. Okay, all of them.)

What I loved best was what they were both willing to do for each other–and that in the end, neither one of them wanted the other to change. Both Claire and Fox came to learn that they really did “fit together like puzzle pieces; strangely shaped, but they clicked together just right to be greater together,” as Fox puts it at one point.

Bring on James and Meredith; I’m more than ready!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Make sure to “Keep Up” with the Cavendishes!

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

 

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Charis Michaels, Author of ONE FOR THE ROGUE (The Bachelor Lords of London #3) Tells Her Favorite Books of 2016 (with a new release review and giveaway)

How can she teach manners to the rakish nobleman if he is determined to show her the thrill of scandal instead?
 

My Favorite Books of 2016 by Charis Michaels

Is it wrong to promote my own book by raving about other books?  If it is, I did not get the memo. Recommending books is the perfect combination of two of my favorite things: Reading and telling people what to do.

As my Christmas gift to you, I offer up my favorite books of 2016 and wish you a cozy fire and several hours of peace and quiet to curl up with one of these captivating books. =

(In no particular order):

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – chick-lit style contemporary that is really a quintessential romance novel–hot surly hero, spirited heroine, and happily ever after.

Eligible by Curtis Suttenfeld – modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Cincinnati.  Yes, there really is room for another homage to Jane A.

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson – nonfiction account of Bill Bryson’s latest journey through England.  Bill Bryson is the most entertaining research I ever do.

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Ann Long – My favorite historical novelist tries her hand at small-town romance and totally nails it.  Fallen-star celebrity and waitress find love in the California mountain town of Hellcat Canyon.

Disrupted: My Misadventures in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons – non-fiction memoir of a middle-aged journalist trying to work for a Millennial Start-up Company. Funny, heartfelt, and alarming.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple – Blurb says something like, “hilarious take on a middle-aged woman who vows to get her life and relationships together…” but really this novel is so smart and funny, it defies description.

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase – Modern-day Cinderella story about the owner of a deli in NYC and a prince.  I’m only on chapter three, but so far I love it!

# # #

  

Charis Michaels is thrilled to be making her debut with Avon Impulse. Prior to writing romance, she studied Journalism at Texas A & M and managed PR for a trade association. She has also worked as a tour guide at Disney World, harvested peaches on her family’s farm, and entertained childre as the “Story Godmother” at birthday parties. She has lived in Texas, Florida, and London, England. She now makes her home in the Washington, D.C.-metro area.

ONE FOR THE ROGUE
The Bachelor Lords of London #3
Charis Michaels
Released Dec 6th, 2016
Avon Impulse
The third dazzling romance in USA Today bestselling author Charis Michaels’ Bachelor Lords of London series.

Beauregard “Beau” Cortland has no use for the whims of society and even less for aristocratic titles. As a younger son, he travels the world in search of adventure with no plans to settle down. Even when the title of Viscount Rainsleigh is suddenly forced upon him, he will not bend to duty or decorum. Not until an alluring young woman appears on the deck of his houseboat, determined to teach him propriety in all things and tempting him with every
forbidden touch

Lady Emmaline Crumbley has had a wretched year. Her elderly husband dropped dead without naming her in his will and she’s been relegated to the life of a dowager duchess at the age of 23. She has no wish to instruct a renegade
viscount in respectability, but desperate to escape her greedy stepson, Beau’s family makes her an offer she cannot refuse: teach the new lord to behave like a gentleman, and they’ll help her earn the new, self-sufficient life of her
dreams. Emmaline agrees, only to discover that instructing the viscount is one thing, but resisting him is quite another. How can she teach manners to the rakish nobleman if he is determined to show her the thrill of scandal instead?

 

Such a good story! I loved Beau and Emma from the very first pages, where she was determined to use the “help” she was determined to give him (which he decidedly did not want) to make life better for herself and her (probably somewhere on the Autistic spectrum?) younger brother. They were absolutely wonderful together on the page, whether they were not getting along, they were resisting getting along even better, or they were navigating their brand new relationship and its responsibilities.

This is the third book in the series, but it worked fine as a standalone. The events that I’m assuming happened at some point in the first book (The Virgin and the Viscount) are important for a catalyst for some of the plot points here, but since you find out what you need to know about it in the prologue, you’re fine if you haven’t read it yet. (If you’re like me, though, it will make you all that much more determined to read it ASAP–I need details! And to see Elizabeth and Bryson’s story from the start 😉

Author Charis Micheals is definitely one to watch!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

New Release Review and Giveaway! MIRACLE ON 5th AVENUE by Sarah Morgan (From Manhattan with Love #3)

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York!

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

 

Review:

“It’s the Dance of the Seven Veils. Thermal edition.”

(I nearly spit out my hot chocolate on that one. Read this book with extreme caution. And napkins.)

Loved. This. Book!

This book gave me all the feels. Happy sighs, quiet almost-tears, and laugh out loud moments (seriously, when Eva makes editorial changes to Lucas’s manuscript? I almost lost it)–this one had it all. Granted, I still need to read Paige’s book ( Sleepless in Manhattan ), but I can’t imagine I could possibly love it more than this one. I mean, anything’s possible, of course, but…OMG. Eva. And Lucas.

Sigh 🙂

The crime writer and the hopeless romantic–could any two people be less suited for each other? Or more perfect together? I think not. I loved that she was the inspiration for his latest book (though sadly, not for either of the characters she thought she was–poor Eva. He totally had that unsolicited edit coming) and that she finally got him to take a chance on love again. With a little help from his scheming grandmother, of course, and a host of other characters. And a snowman. And a crazy expensive bottle of wine.

Plus, Eva and Lucas. Have I mentioned how much I loved them? Yes?

Miracle is the third book in the series, (and hopefully not the last) but it should work fine as a standalone. Yes, if you’ve read Frankie’s book ( Sunset in Central Park ) you definitely could see this one coming, but you don’t have to have read it first.

(And OMG, I just realized that I actually own Normal , the book Sarah mentions in her “Thank you” at the end. I’m going to have to read it now…though just reading the description makes me feel the need to turn on the bedside lamp…and it’s mid-morning already.)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Purchase Links:

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About the author:
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She has been nominated 4 times for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and has won the award twice. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors.

Connect with Sarah:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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