Monthly Archives: September 2015

Wicked Lies

Wicked Lies by Lora Leigh

11888941Description: From #1 bestselling author Lora Leigh comes Wicked Lies, a sizzling novel of the Men of Summer-their ways and means, and the women they desire…

HE’S TEMPTING FATE
Jazz Lancing is the stuff of legends. A mountain-bred ex-Navy SEAL with rugged dark looks, a tall muscled frame, and gorgeous blue eyes, he can have any woman he wants in the state of Tennessee. Except Annie Mayes. The beautiful, innocent teacher refuses to fall for Jazz because she’s hiding a secret more powerful than her own temptation …

SHE’S IN TOO DEEP
Jazz knows that Annie isn’t who she says she is-that she’s lying about her identity, her past, and her motives. But can she be trusted? Little does he know Annie has been craving his kiss for years, dreaming that Jazz would take her in his arms and save her from her demons. But telling Jazz the truth could put both of them in peril. In this deadly game of danger, deceit, and darkness, is desire worth the risk of losing…everything?

Review: I definitely enjoyed reading Wicked Lies. This book quickly pulled you into the story and it was a fast-paced read. The heroine, Annie has a secret background and there was clearly a draw between her and Jazz. Unfortunately, Annie’s identity is a major spoiler and I can’t really go into much of the plot without ruining it. Which, of course, makes reviewing the book, and analyzing the relationship between Jazz and Annie, very difficult. So this will be a short review.

I’m not the biggest fan of romantic suspense and I would have liked a bit more actions scenes before Annie’s identity and reason for hiding were revealed. It seemed like the bad guy was obvious as well. I’ve read other Lora Leigh books and I’m usually guessing about the bad guy until the very end. I also didn’t like the classification of Jazz as a man-whore just because he didn’t have long-term relationship. It’s becoming a pet-peeve of mine and one of my least favorite romance tropes. Romance novels are carefully not to call the heroine a whore, even if she is a courtesan or a mistress, but rather that she was forced into those circumstances. But if the hero doesn’t have long-term relationships, he’s automatically a man-whore.

The relationship between Jazz and Annie was built on their past, which is difficult to talk about without giving everything away. However, when they are together, it is clear they have a deep and lasting connection. Despite anger at each other, and some stupid actions because of it, everything they do is protect one another. I really like books where the heroine is as proactive in protecting the hero as he is her and this is one of those books. Also, wow, Lora Leigh knows how to write steamy books! I’ve read her erotic series before, and am a major fan, but I had stupidly expected this series to be tamer. I’m really glad I was wrong. The sensuality between Jazz and Annie definitely steams up the page!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Top Ten Books to Read if You Like Lisa Kleypas

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Ten Books to Read If You Like This Popular Book/Author”. I decided to chose Lisa Kleypas since she writes both historical and contemporary books.

  1. The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn

    The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1)
    Similar to Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway series

  2. A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

    A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1)
    The entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking of Lisa Kleypas’ Dream of You, Derek Craven, sigh.

  3. Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis

    Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1)
    Reminded me of Kleypas’s Friday Harbor series

  4. Duchess Quartet by Eloisa James 

    Duchess in Love (Duchess Quartet, #1)
    The friends in her series reminded me of the Wallflower series.

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The Legend of Lyon Redmond Release Day!

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The Legend of Lyon Redmond
Pennyroyal Green #11

By: Julie Anne Long

LEGEND_LYON

Releasing September 29, 2015

Avon

Blurb:

Bound by centuries of bad blood, England’s two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility…until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

An enduring legend

Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond’s heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount’s proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade…and wagers on the return of an heir.

An eternal love

It was instant and irresistible, forbidden…and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it’s time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families part…or the stuff of which legends are made.

Link to Follow Tour:  http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/08/the-legend-of-lyon-redmond-pennyroyal.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24392720-the-legend-of-lyon-redmond?ac=1

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/45155-pennyroyal-green

 

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Julie Anne LongAuthor Info

Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up, and she has the guitars and the questionable wardrobe stuffed in the back of her closet t prove it. When playing to indifferent crowds at midnight in dank clubs lost its, ahem, charm, she realized she could incorporate all of the best things about being in a band—namely, drama, passion and men with unruly hair—into novels, while at the same time indulging her love of history and research. So she made the move from guitar to keyboard (the computer variety) and embarked on a considerably more civilized, if not much more peaceful, career as a novelist.

Julie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a fat orange cat. (Little known fact: they issue you a cat the minute you become a romance novelist.)

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

PennyroyalGreen_visuallist_March15

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Grand Prize of a $50 Gift Card to eBook Retailer of choice, Second Prize winner will get the complete set of Pennyroyal Green Books 1 – 11 by Julie Anne Long)

Excerpt-Banner

Excerpt:

The first week of February …

She’s getting married on the second Saturday in May.

Nine words scrawled across a sheet of foolscap. He stared at them until they blurred into a single gray mass.

When he lifted his head, his ears were ringing and he was as dazed as if he’d literally been dragged backward through time.

For Lyon Redmond, there had always only ever been one “she.”

He was momentarily disoriented to find himself on the deck of a ship docked in Plymouth, not on the Sussex downs, waiting by the double elm tree. The one with the “O” carved into it.

A dozen pairs of eyes were on him, waiting patiently for the command that always came.

His crew was a carefully curated, casually lethal lot of men and one woman, the versatile Miss Delphinia Digby-Thorne, she of the many languages and surprisingly useful acting talents—she had once spilled ale all over his sister, Violet.

They had nothing in common apart from mysterious pedigrees, ambiguous morals, and unswerving loyalty. To him.

Unlike, alas, Olivia Eversea.

But then, every last one of them had prospered the moment they’d aligned their fortunes with him. He was cynical enough to know it was all of a piece, the loyalty and the prosperity. He didn’t care.

The bearer of this news, a man dressed in footman’s livery, took Lyon’s silence as dismissal and turned rather too optimistically to leave.

“Hold,” Lyon said sharply.

The swords of his men came up swiftly to bar the man’s way.

“I’m unarmed,” the footman said hurriedly, holding up his hands. “And alone. You have my word.”

Lyon smiled a smile that would have had many a man wetting his smallclothes. It bore more resemblance to the curve of a cutlass. “While I’m certain your word is indeed priceless, you’ve naught to fear. I just cleaned my sword, so there will be no running through of anyone for at least another few hours.”

This elicited chuckles from his crew.

The footman gave a wobbly, uncertain smile.

Lyon knew a surge of impatience, which he recognized as shame. He was not in the habit of intimidating clearly unarmed and outnumbered men for the sport of it.

Then again, given how history often treated bearers of bad news, the man was probably fortunate he still drew breath.

“Your name, please.”

“Ramsey, sir.”

“You’re in no danger as long as I believe you are answering my questions truthfully, Ramsey.”

“Of course, sir.”

But judging from how the footman blanched, he didn’t miss the implicit threat.

“Who sent you, Ramsey?”

“Begging your pardon, but Lord Lavay said you would know when you read the message. I am in his employ. I’m a footman, sir.” He squared his shoulders and touched the silver braid on his coat, as if for luck. “And I won the coin toss.”

“I was a reward, then, was I, Ramsey?” Lyon drawled, to another scatter of chuckles. “Please describe Lord Lavay to me.”

Ramsey furrowed his brow. “Well … he’s a big gentleman. Perhaps as tall as you, sir. French. He often waves his hands when he talks, like so.” He began to demonstrate with a sweep of his own hands, then clearly thought better of it when all the swords aimed at him twitched a warning. “Took quite an injury in a fight not too long ago, but he’s fit now.”

Lyon studied the footman unblinkingly, searching for the faintest hint of perfidy in the flicker of an eyelash or the tensing of a muscle.

He knew all about that fight and that injury. Lyon and his crew had found Lavay bleeding to death on the Horsleydown Stairs in London.

Lyon was in fact the reason Lord Lavay still walked the earth.

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Romance Novel Fact of the Week

According to RWA: 

Romance book buyers have an average income of $55,000.

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Bear Meets Girl

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston 

12180288Description: He’s big, burly, and way smarter than your average shapeshifting bear. He’s also about to get trapped by own his game. . .

Lou Crushek is a reasonable, mellow, easygoing kind of guy. But once someone starts killing the scumbags he works so hard to bust, that really gets under his fur. Especially when that someone is a curvy she-tiger with a skill set that’s turning Crush’s lone-bear world upside down–and bringing his passion out of hibernation. . .

As a member of an elite feline protection unit, Marcella Malone has no problem body-dropping anyone who hunts her kind. But Crush is proving one major pain in her gorgeous tail. The only reason she’s joined forces with him is to track down the wealthy human who’s got her entire species in his ruthless sights. It sure isn’t because Crush’s stubborn and contrary attitude is rubbing Cella in all the right ways. .

Review: Honestly, I felt very lost for most of this book. I really like to start series with the first book and then watch the world progress. But lately, I’ve been picking up books mid-series and then complaining when I’m confused. I know, it doesn’t make any sense. This book, however, I was more confused than most. Paranormal worlds take a lot of world-building and I feel like I missed a lot of that in this book. Honestly, I’m not even sure if the ‘full-humans’ know about shifters.

On top of the confusion, I really wasn’t a fan of the main couple, Crush and Cella (another alliteration couple!) Cella was too fierce and over-the-top. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of kick-ass heroines. But those heroines need to be smart too, and pick their battles. I didn’t like how Cella would run into things half-assed, and just start throwing fists. I just felt like there wasn’t enough details about her back-story with her daughter and family.  Crush, on the other, I couldn’t get a good read on. Overall, I liked them as a couple. Crush tempered Cella’s crazy, over-the-top personality and she liven-up his dull, by-the-book life. Individually, however, I wasn’t a fan.

The main plot of the book was about the bad guy hunting shifters. This was intriguing plot point but not well-developed in this book. And I kept getting confused by the different groups and who was working with who. I do think I’ll try to read the other books in the series and see if I can better understand the world. Some of the minor characters, like Dez, Crush’s partner, were interesting and I want to read their stories.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Blue-Eyed Devil

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises, #2)Description:MEET THE BLUE-EYED DEVIL – His name is Hardy Cates. He’s a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston’s oil industry. He’s got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.

MEET THE HEIRESS – She’s Haven Travis. Despite her family’s money, she refuses to set out on the path they’ve chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or setting her soul on fire.

WATCH THE SPARKS FLY….Filled with Lisa Kleypas’s trademark sensuality, filled with characters you love to hate and men you love to love, Blue-Eyed Devil will hold you captive in its storytelling power as the destiny of two people unfolds with every magical word.

Review: The other day, I finished two novellas I had to read for reviews. I didn’t really feel like starting another book for a review. I was starting to feel the weight of the reviews I needed to write. But it was Saturday night and I was bored so I went into my book closet (yes, I have a book closet) and picked up an old favorite: Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas. Since I had recently read her last Travis book, Brown-Eyed Girl, the timing seemed appropriate.

I want to take a moment and talk about the Travis series. Lisa Kleypas is one of my all-time romance writers. Her books often top my favorites list, like Devil in Winter, Dreaming of You, Mine til Midnight. The list goes on and on. However, I had always been a fan of her historical works. Then she released Sugar Daddy. I read it, because, hey, it’s a Lisa Kleypas book, why not. I don’t what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t what I read. The romance between Liberty and Gage comes very late into the book. A majority of the focus is on Liberty growing up and raising her younger sister by herself. It is an inspective, difficult book and the trials Liberty face make her an amazing heroine. Whenever I reread the book, I always wish for more details about Liberty and Gage’s relationship. However, the stand out character in the book is not Liberty or Gage but rather Hardy Cates. Hardy Cates, if there is every a character whose name I want to sigh over, it’s him. He seems on the page, the strong, heroic but slightly twisted character who is the exact opposite of straight-laced Gage. He worked his way up from nothing and won’t let little things like morals and ethics stand in the way of what he wanted. And what he wanted in Sugar Daddy was Liberty. There are a lot of similarities between him and Sebastian in Devil in Winter. He was essentially set up to be the redeemed hero in the next book, Blue-Eyed Devil.

Note: This part of the review will feature spoilers. I usually try to avoid spoilers but I honestly can’t talk about the emotional depth of this book without revealing pertinent plot points. And really, the book has been out since 2008.

Blue-Eyed Devil is the story of Haven Travis. Period, end of sentence. Usually romance novels are the story of the hero and the heroine. But not this one. Sure, Hardy Cates is the hero and he and Haven end up together but the book isn’t truly about that. This is Haven’s story. Like Sugar Daddy and the other Travis books, Blue-Eyed Devil is written in first person from Haven’s point of view. The book opens at Liberty and Gage’s wedding, which Haven attends with her boyfriend, Nick. Hardy crashes the reception and he and Haven ended kissing in the wine cellar. Despite this, Haven ends up marrying her boyfriend and getting cut off from the family. She moves away with Nick and the next 50 pages focus on their life together over the course of 2 years.

What gives this book its emotional depth is the reality of Haven’s life with Nick. As their marriage progresses, Nick becomes more and more abusive. He hits Haven once over her messing up ironing his shirts. As the book goes on, Haven’s personality is lost in the wake of Nick’s abuse. He tries to erase who she is, from changing her name to Marie to controlling every little aspect of her life. She quits her job and everything revolves around keeping Nick happy. As Liberty puts it later, “Oh Haven. It’s like he was trying to erase you.” He broke down her self-esteem and twisted her family relationship so she felt like she was failing if she tried to leave. The emotional abuse Haven suffers is horrific to read and it becomes worse when compounded with the physical abuse which drives her to leave. Unlike most women in abusive relationships, Haven did have an out in the shape of wealthy and extremely protective older brothers. Once she called Gage to get her, her family swooped in and got her out of the situation with Nick. What really hits home is how gradual the abuse was. By the time Nick first hit her, Haven’s self-worth had been so degraded that she forgives him. It is the realization that he would hit their children, if they had any, and the rape and physical abuse of their last fight that drove her to leave him.

Haven, once she divorces Nick, works hard to put her life back together. She beings to see a therapist, gets her own place, and a new job. Piece by piece, her life beings to get back to normal. When she runs into Hardy again, she is attracted to him but very wary to start a relationship with him. She freezes when they begin to hook-up and he, not knowing her emotional trauma, wrongly accuses her of being a tease. Hardy is given a hero’s moment when Haven calls him to save her from a flooded elevator, but really, emotionally, Haven had begun to save herself. Before they have sex, she revels the truth about her marriage to him and their relationship progresses into one of love and support. While Hardy does get to play the hero, his heroics are mostly physical, while Haven is the hero for overcoming her own emotional trauma and for helping Hardy overcome his. They complement each other and they relationship is a welcome contrast to the abuse Haven had suffered.

This book has a happy ending but most stories of domestic violence do not. As such, I want to include the information Kleypas provides in her author’s note regarding abuse.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

(800) 799-SAFE

http://www.ndvh.org  

Favorite Quotes: 

“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.”

“One of the blessings human beings take for granted is the ability to remember pain without re-feeling it. The pain of the physical wounds is long gone …and the other kind of hurt, the damage done to our spirits, has been healed. We are careful with those scarred places in each other. ”

“What you should really be sorry for,” he continued, “is that for the rest of my life, I’ll have to avoid wine cellars to keep from thinking about you.”
“Why? Was kissing me that bad?”
A devil-solf whisper. “No sweetheart. It was that good.”

“I was a new person in the same world, which was a lot more difficult than being the same person in a new world.”

Rating: 5 out of 5! 

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When a Scot Ties the Knot

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)Description: On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

Review: I love Tessa Dare books. There, I said it. There hasn’t been a single Tessa Dare book that I didn’t adore. And this book lives up to expectations. I bought and devoured this book the day it came out. The entire premise for her Castles Ever After series is intriguing. Her heroines share a godfather who left them each their own castle. In this book, like the others, the castle is one of the focuses. For Dare’s heroines, the castles are freedom and independence for women, an escape for an oppressive society, where they can be their eccentric selves.

This Dare heroine is Maddie Gracechurch. I found myself reminded a lot of Minerva from Dare’s A Week to Be Wicked. She’s a naturalist artist who draws insects, lobsters mating, etc. She creates a fictitious beau to avoid entering London society, due to her terror of crowds.  I adored the shy Maddie who became adventurous when faced with Logan.  Even though she created a fiancée out of fear, she never once backed away from Logan. Tessa Dare heroines are always smart and a little quirky. They’re eccentric and unique. And the heroes support them and allow them to grow.

Logan is a flawed hero. He swoops in and forces Maddie to marry him but yet is trying to do the right thing and support his men. While he is initially mad at Maddie for her deception, he realizes that by calling him Captain in her letters, Maddie gave him a goal to push towards. Logan is seems in like an overbearing hero, demanding she marry him, threatening to expose her lies to society and yet he quickly changes from the bash, overconfident hero to an injured warrior who is just looking for a home and a place to belong for himself and his men. Dare also shows the sad result of war in Logan and his men. They are the unsupported, wounded veterans returning home to find their families and loved ones have died or moved on.

Quite simply, this book is humor mixed with heart.

Favorite Quotes: 

“This ruthless, kilted stranger she’d married might be the closest thing on earth Maddie had to a true friend.”

“I love you Logan. Somehow… It began before I knew you.”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR”. I took this to mean books released this fall that I want to read. I really enjoyed this list because now I have an idea for when the books I’m looking forward to are going to be released.

  1. Born of Betrayal by Sherrilyn Kenyon

    Born of Betrayal (The League, #10)
    Release Date: November 3, 2015

  2. Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

    Cold-Hearted Rake
    Release Date: October 27, 2015

  3. Forever with You by Jennifer Armentrout

    Forever with You (Wait for You #5)
    Release Date: September 29, 2015

  4. Base Instincts by Larissa Ione

    Base Instincts (Demonica, #11.7) (Lords of Deliverance, #6.7)
    Release Date: September 14, 2015

  5. All I Want by Jill Shalvis

    All I Want (Animal Magnetism, #7)
    Release Date: October 6, 2015

  6. Falling Into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath

    Falling Into Bed with a Duke (The Hellions of Havisham, #1)
    Release Date: October 27, 2015

  7. Mad About The Man by Tracy Anne Warren

    Mad About the Man (The Graysons, #3)
    Release Date: October 6, 2015

  8. The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

    The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal and Scoundrel, #1)
    Release Date: December 29, 2015

  9. Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

    Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4)
    Release Date: December 29, 2015

  10. The Striker by Monica McCarty

    The Striker (Highland Guard, #10)
    Release Date: November 24, 2015

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Romance Novel Fact of the Week

According to RWA: 

The U.S. romance book buyer is most likely to be aged between 30 and 54 years.

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What To Do With A Duke

What To Do With A Duke by Sally MacKenzie 

What to Do with a Duke (Spinster House, #1) Description: Welcome to the charming, fatefully named village of Loves Bridge, where a woman destined for spinsterhood can live a life of her own choosing—or fall unexpectedly, madly in love…

Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting would rather be lounging in the library than circling the ballroom in search of a husband any day. So when Cat hears that the town’s infamous Spinster House is open for a new resident, she jumps at the chance to put all this marriage business behind her. But first she must make arrangements with her prospective landlord, Marcus, the Duke of Hart—the most handsome man she’s ever seen, and the only man who’s ever impressed her in the least…

With her wit, independent spirit, and not least of all her beauty, Marcus can’t help but be stirred by Cat. It’s terribly unfortunate he’s not looking to marry, given the centuries-old curse that left his family with the Spinster House to begin with. No duke shall live to see his heir’s birth. But is there a chance the curse could be broken—in true fairy-tale fashion—by an act of true love? The race to Happily Ever After is about to begin…

Review: It has been a while since I’ve read a Sally MacKenzie book. In fact, I had to keep running the name through my mind before I could finally place it with the Naked Nobility series. I had read a few books in that series but lost interest. There was something off-putting about the series and her writing that I just couldn’t put my finger on. So when I received a copy of What to Do with a Duke, I decided to give it another chance and look at MacKenzie’s writing through fresh eyes.

The premise of the book was quite interesting. Marcus, Duke of Hart, had an ancestor who seduced and impregnated a merchant’s daughter, Isabelle. When the duke married someone else, Isabelle killed herself and their unborn child but not before she made legal requirements for the duke and his heirs to fund Spinster House in the village of Loves Bridge. Oh, and curse the duke and his descendants so they will die before their heir is born. It turns out there is a novella before this book which explains how the Spinster House became empty and why Marcus is forced to return to the village. Once there, he meets the vicar’s daughter, Cat, who wants to become the next resident of the Spinster House.

Despite the premise, I really wasn’t the biggest fan of either character. Marcus dwelled too much on his impending death and didn’t really have much of a personality aside from his fatalistic qualities. Cat was too obsessed with wanting quiet to write a book, though in a house with seven younger siblings, it was a little understandable. Towards the end of the book, I felt like she was too willing to give up her goals to marry the duke. It seemed like Cat had wanted the quiet of the Spinster House but once she had it, she didn’t know what to do with it. I did believe that the characters loved each other but I didn’t really like how their love story played out.

Towards the end of the book, I realized why I was never a fan of Sally MacKenzie’s books. To me, it seemed like her grasp on Regency England wasn’t traditional for a Regency novel. Her characters are less bounded by the rules of society- i.e. the duke refusing to marry the lady who tried to trap him into marriage concern for his reputation. Other characters helped the couple circumvent society’s norms. While this would have been fine in other novels, the author then takes societal norms and uses them as a plot point, i.e. the duke proposing because he ruined her reputation by kissing in the bushes. I’m not sure if the books, especially in her Naked Nobility series, were supposed to be satirical, but I just wasn’t a fan. There were other little things that took away from my enjoyment of the overall story. Cat’s friendship breaks apart over the Spinster house, and her friends spread rumors and hurt her reputation and yet, she forgives them and moves on without any discussion or anger. I may be nitpicking but to me, it just seemed like the book didn’t flow smoothly.

Rating: 3 out of 5. 

Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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