Monthly Archives: March 2016

Highland Awakening

Highland Awakening by Jennifer Haymore

Highland Awakening (Highland Knights, #2)Description: For fans of Maya Banks and Monica McCarty, the Highland Knights series continues as a tight-knit band of Scottish mercenaries make trouble on the mean streets of London . . . and under the sheets with England’s proper young women.
 
As the secret author of racy romances, Lady Esme Hawkins goes to great lengths to protect her family’s honor. Which is why she carefully disguises herself before entering a notorious bordello to do research. But when Esme comes face-to-face with a brooding Highland bodyguard, she can’t easily refuse a harmless kiss . . . a kiss that inflames desires ripped from the pages of her novels. Acting on them, however, would risk revealing Esme’s identity—and the fact that she’s engaged to another man.

As a Highland Knight sworn to protect the crown, Camden McLeod never expected to follow his client into a bordello—nor could he anticipate meeting a bright, innocent lass with lush lips and eyes the color of the sea. Instantly, Cam knows he must possess her. But to do so, he’ll need to give up his rakish ways, embrace his role as heir to his despised father, and snuff out a deadly threat to his brothers in arms. By comparison, winning Esme away from her insipid fiancé will be pure pleasure.

Review:

Jennifer Haymore is an author I follow on and off. I liked her House of Trent series but I felt it ended a bit abruptly and then suddenly she had a new series with Highland Knights. I realized with this book that the closure I was missing from the House of Trent series was Esme’s story. Highland Awakening provided that story. I did like the mystery plot surrounding the Highland Knights. I also, for the most part, liked the character of Esme. She, over the course of the other books, has become a writer of scandalous romance novels. This apparently includes interviewing prostitutes at a den of iniquity where, of course, she meets the hero. Camden McLeod is there protecting a member of the nobility who is receiving death threats. He and Esme hit it off and their relationship grows from there. While I did like Esme, I had a hard time warming to Camden. His actions in the pursuit of Esme were very questionable. I didn’t blame her for being mad at him and I didn’t feel like he groveled enough to make up for the magnitude of his actions.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

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

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Author Recommedation:

Joanna Shupe

Joanna Shupe is a relatively new romance author.  I discovered her books last yejoanna_shupear at a local book signing. I was immediately intrigued by the plot of her first book, The Courtesan Duchess. It had a similar plot to an old Virginia Henley book. The heroine and hero were married but he didn’t know what she looked like since they married when she was young. So the heroine sets off to seduce the hero, while pretending to be a courtesan, as one does. Needless to say, it is an immensely amusing book and I was quickly hooked on Joanna Shupe’s writing style and wit. I recently read the first two books of her new series, The Knickerbocker Club. I’m not usually a fan of American history and honestly was hesitant to read a book set in the Gilded Age. However, I adore both! I truly recommend Joanna Shupe if you’re looking for a new historical romance to read. Her Regency Wicked Deception series would be great for anyone who loves Sarah MacLean’s writing. And if you’re looking for a less traditional time pcover1-183x300eriod, or just like the Gilded Age, check out her new series!

 

 

Has anyone read Joanna Shupe’s books?

Any other suggestions for similar author recommendations?

 

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As Good As New

As Good As New by Jennifer Dawson

As Good As New (Something New, #4)Description: He was the high school hottie. She was the teacher’s pet. But in private, none of that mattered…

At the tender age of six, Penelope Watkins fell for her best friend’s brother, Evan Donovan, future hunk. By the time they were teenagers, they were having heart-to-hearts…and hot and heavy top secret make-out sessions. All that changed when Evan’s father suddenly died. Abruptly, Penelope lost him to grief—and to his true love: football. But now an injury had ended Evan’s NFL career. The notorious bad boy was in a depression no one could penetrate, except maybe the one woman who still knew him best—and still wanted him most…

Penelope is the last person Evan wants to witness the wreck he’s become. So when she shows up at his door he’s less than welcoming—even though the sight of her brings back the same old rush of desire. As a teenager, the emotions overwhelmed him. Now, when he wanted to be overwhelmed, Penelope wasn’t playing. She was telling the golden boy it was time to man up. It may have taken a concussion for Evan to realize it, but that’s exactly what he wants to do—starting with her…

Review:

I was so excited when I saw this book was available on Netgalley. I loved Jennifer Dawson’s entire series and I couldn’t wait for Penelope and Evan’s book! Guess what? It fulfilled all of the expectations and more! Dawson provided the steamy sexual tension of a high school love affair gone horribly wrong. I loved watching Evan and Penelope navigate their new relationship and figure out how to have an adult relationship. The chemistry between them was oh so steamy and sensual. By the time they finally slept together, I was mentally cheering!

Final note, I really like seeing Penelope as a successful and intelligent business woman. It was really the icing on the cake of a delicious book!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

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

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Tycoon

Tycoon by Joanna Shupe

TycoonDescription: Sometimes the journey is more pleasurable than the destination…

In Gilded Age New York City, the bachelors of the Knickerbocker Club spend their days rubbing elbows with Manhattan’s most elite citizens–and their nights with its most intoxicating women . . .

Standing on the platform at Grand Central Station, Ted Harper is surprised by a fiery kiss from an undeniably gorgeous damsel in distress. He’s certain she’s a swindler who’s only after his money, but he’s never met a woman so passionate and sure of herself. Disarmed, he invites her to spend the journey to St. Louis in his private car–perhaps against his better judgment . . .

Clara Dawson has long known how to take care of herself, but the savvy shop girl is at a loss when she witnesses–and becomes entangled in–a terrible crime. Desperation propels her into a stranger’s arms at the train station, but she hadn’t expected Ted to offer her the protection she so badly needs–nor did she expect their chemistry to develop more steam than the engine of the train. He’s everything she never thought she could have, and she’s everything he didn’t know he wanted. But as her secrets begin to unfurl, their fledgling romance could be in danger of derailing before they arrive at the next station . . .

 

Review:

Joanna Shupe has been a relatively new discovery for me, mostly because she’s a new writer. I discovered her books when she came to my local Barnes and Noble. I really liked her first trilogy, which was set in Regency England. However, her new series, The Knickerbocker Club, is set in the Gilded Age. I’m not usually the biggest fan of novellas. I tend to find them too short. Often times, the background of the main characters is not well fleshed out. My other issue is that the love story plot usually feels rushed, especially if there’s other plot points happening within the story. However, I do recommend Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh if you want a well-done novella. Okay, tangent over!

I really liked both of the characters in this book. Clara was interesting and determined to make an independent life for herself. When she gets pulled into a dangerous situation, she uses her brain and comes up with a solution. Ted Harper just happens to be at the right place at the right time and becomes that solution. He’s a self-made millionaire banker but Clara just thinks that’s he’s a bank employee and is unwilling to pull him into her problems. They fight their chemistry as well as dangerous outside forces. This novella is an excellent set up for the next book and I can’t wait to read what Joanna Shupe writes next!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

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

 

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Reading Quote

Just wanted to share another one of my favorite quotes about reading.

Enjoy!

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March 22, 2016 · 20:22

Dirty

Dirty by Kylie Scott

25671827Description: The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?

Review:

I forgot how much I loved Kylie Scott’s writing style. Once I finished Dirty, I immediately went back and reread the entire Stage Dive series. The hero of Dirty, Vaughan, had a minor role in the last Stage Dive book, Deep. She brings such life and depth to her characters. Reading a Kylie Scott book is truly an enjoyable experience.

I was recently telling my friend about the most hilarious start to a romance novel I’ve ever read. The answer is Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Nothing can beat the heroine walking down the side of the road in a beaver costume. However, the meeting between Lydia and Vaughan comes pretty close. On Lydia’s wedding day, she discovers that her fiancé is gay. Acting like any rational person, she scales the fence and breaks into the house next door. Vaughan, the house’s owner, finds her in his shower. They quickly bond as he backs her up against her ex-fiancé’s family. Vaughan offers Lydia his spare room and their relationship develops from there.

Both Lydia and Vaughan are at crossroads in their lives. Vaughan’s band has broken up and he came home to sell his parents’ house to his sister.  However, she is facing her own issues and can’t help him out. Side note, I really hope Vaughan’s sister gets her own book. Lydia had worked for her ex fiancé so she too is out of a job. Both need to determine what the next step in their lives will be and how their growing relationship fits in. Overall, this was an excellent start to a new series. Scott once again captivates the reader and creates a world I can’t wait to revisit.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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

 

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My Epic Return to Blogging:

Hello my dear followers! I know my brief hiatus has turned into something much more. It has been about 5 months this I’ve posted. Life and an inability to keep up with reviews overwhelmed me. Honestly, I was being lazy. However, I miss writing reviews. I miss the extra thought that I put into books. When I don’t review, I tend to just move quickly from book to book, without examining what I liked and didn’t like about the book I read. So hopefully, I’m back now. I want to start out easy. I think my schedule of four reviews a week plus additional posts are just too much to start again. As of now, I’m going to try two books a week. Maybe as time goes on, I will up the number of reviews.

I’m happy to be back!

On that note, I’ll leave you with my favorite quote about reading!

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