Tag Archives: Regency Romance

Mine, Forever and Always

Mine, Forever and Always by Tammy L. Bailey

34610439Description: Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, Lily Scott married her best friend’s brother, Henry Dalton.

It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.

Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?

 

Review: 

I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a romance novel that didn’t have an intimate scene between the hero and heroine. Even novella, like Mine, Forever & Always is, usually have a sex scene. This book was a sweet story about Lily and Henry. When they were younger, they participated in a fake wedding, like children do. Over the years, they grew apart, mostly due to Henry becoming a man about town. They’re reunited at a house party where it’s clear that their childhood affection has turned to attraction. Similar to Pride and Prejudice, there are many scenes of verbal sparring between Lily and Henry. Overall, this was a quick but enjoyable read.

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

 

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The Daring Duke

TheDaringDuke_E-cover_600x933 Description: 

Book 1 in The 1797 Club Series
The Daring Duke

The wild and charismatic Duke of Abernathe is the kind of friend anyone would wish to have. He even formed the 1797 Club, consisting of ten men who would all be dukes. But he has full-throatedly declared he will never marry and no one understands why.

But Miss Emma Liston doesn’t care why. A longtime wallflower with an absentee father who is a scandal waiting to happen, she needs to marry. Now. She decides to take a wild chance and ask the help of her friend Meg’s brother James. She asks him to pretend he’s interested in her just long enough to gain the attention of others. He agrees but is quickly taken aback by how easy everything is with Emma.

When her father returns, threatening her with a terrible future, their courtship swiftly becomes all too real. Will James ever reveal the true man beneath the outer shell? And can Emma discover her own worthiness before it’s too late?

 

Review: I’d like to start this review by apologizing for the initial blank post. With the snow storm yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to go on my computer and update the scheduled post to include the review. Thank you for your patience and please enjoy my review of The Daring Duke!

The Daring Duke is the introduction to Jess Michaels’ 1797 Club series. The club, consisting of ten dukes or future dukes, gets its name from the year it was founded. James, the hero, creates the group at Eton as a child after being abused by his father. The purpose of the club is for the ducal heirs to learn how to be dukes and support one another. I quite enjoyed this premise and am looking forward to reading the future books. While the titles were all a bit overwhelming at first, this book mostly focused on James and his two best friends. The trauma of James’ childhood would go on to have a lasting impact on him and be his motivation behind later actions.

We meet grown-up James again at a ballroom where we are also introduced to the heroine, Emma. She is a blue-stocking and a wallflower. After recently having re-read Lisa Kleypas’s Devil in Winter and then devouring her new Devil in Spring, I was primed to read about another wallflower. They’re one of my favorite tropes because people always underestimate them. It is clear that Emma is attracted to James but she believes that he will never see her. However, a newly forming friendship between Emma and James’ sister, Meg, means James and Emma are now in each other’s company a lot more. Emma needs to marry soon because of her horrible family while James wants to avoid the ton’s marriage market. While they both are attracted to each other, James comes up with a way for them both help each other. By courting Emma, the ducal James will make her more attractive to other suitors. Once their courtship ends, James can plead a broken heart and avoid the match-making mothers.

At times throughout the book, the courtship plot wore a bit thin. It was obvious to everyone around them that James was starting to care for Emma but he kept denying his feelings. This continued even as they had secretive amorous encounters.  Emma, in the meantime, was forced to fend off her overly zealous mother. When Emma’s father returns, circumstances force both James and Emma to truly examine their feelings for each other.

Some additional things I enjoyed about the book:  The acknowledgement that Emma’s mother was equally as horrible as her father. She was constantly manipulating her and I was afraid that her horribleness was just going to be brushed aside.

Also, Meg! I adored James’ sister and I can’t wait to read about her again. I have a feeling she’s going to be in the next book.

Overall, this was a really pleasant read. James and Emma were both likable characters who still had personal trauma’s to overcome. This book was an excellent start to the series. It’s clear that all the dukes are going to have books and there were some interesting tidbits dropped about them throughout this story. I’m definitely going to continue with this series.

 

Rating:  4 out of 5!

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Written by

USA Today Bestseller Jess Michaels began writing full-time in 1999 after being encouraged by her husband to follow her dream. Since then she has published over 50 novels and novellas under three different pen names with several major publishers, small presses and via self-publishing. Her erotic historical romances have been national bestsellers and won awards from booksellers and readers.

 

Check out The Clubhouse to join The 1797 Club!

 

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

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Seven Minutes in Heaven

Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James

 


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Description: 

All of Eugenia Snowe’s problems start when Edward Reeve, an arrogant bastard son of an earl, bursts into her registry office. He wants a governess and he wants her. She gives him the governess he demands, but she refuses to give herself.

No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but she will never tarnish her reputation with an affaire, particularly with a man who doesn’t realize she’s a lady!

She holds her ground…until he kidnaps her.

Ward will stop at nothing to convince Eugenia that they’re meant to be together. He promises her heaven.

She gives him seven minutes.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: 

Eloisa James has done it again! Seven Minutes in Heaven was an amazing book! Having read her previous Desperate Duchess series, I loved seeing Eugenia and Ward grow up and fall in love. Ward has recently gained control of his two half-siblings and Eugenia runs the governess service that Ward uses. While some plot-points felt a little unbelievable, i.e. Eugenia’s presence at Ward’s house, the chemistry between the hero and heroine more than makes up for it! It was especially nice to see a widow who moves on from a loving relationship and decides to enter into an affair without being coerced by external forces. Overall, another trademark and successful Eloisa James story!

Received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

 

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My Fair Princess

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My Fair Princess
The Improper Princesses #1

By: Vanessa Kelly

Releasing August 30, 2016.
Zebra

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Blurb

First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .

Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.

 

Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairytale ending?

 

My Fair Princess_Cover

Link to Follow Tour:  http://www.tastybooktours.com/2016/05/my-fair-princess-improper-princesses-1.html

Goodreads Link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28109694-my-fair-princess

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/172996-the-improper-princesses

 

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

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/My-Fair-Princess-Improper-Princesses/dp/1420141090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457039941&sr=8-1&keywords=9781420141092

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-fair-princess-vanessa-kelly/1123105721?ean=9781420141092

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Vanessa_Kelly
_My_Fair_Princess?id=cHgkCwAAQBAJ

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/my-fair-princess/id1086437948?mt=11

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/my-fair-princess-1

 

Author Info


Vanessa
Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.

 

Author Links:  Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

Website:  http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vanessakellyauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VanessaKellyAut

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2728107.Vanessa_Kelly

Rafflecopter Giveaway (a Grand Prize winner to get a $25 Amazon gift card;  and four runners up to receive a copy of CONFESSIONS OF A ROYAL BRIDEGROOM and HOW TO MARRY A ROYAL HIGHLANDER.

Link to Rafflecopter Page, http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81109/?

Excerpt-Banner

Her grandmother let out a heavy sigh, and even Griffin shook his head. The duke, however, simply regarded her with a perfectly unruffled manner, as if she were some recently discovered species, only vaguely interesting. Gillian began to get quite a bad feeling that she’d finally met her match.

She’d been hearing for weeks how Leverton was the key to solving Gillian’s little problem, as her family called it. According to them, he was perfectly suited to guide her into society’s good graces, and perfectly capable of managing away even the most troublesome elements of her background.

He must be a bloody perfect miracle worker, if that was the case.

As she cautiously eyed him, she couldn’t help concluding that he did seem rather perfect in some respects. He was certainly prettier than she was, with thick, tawny-colored hair, striking blue eyes, and a face straight off a Greek statue. And he was certainly a good deal more stylish than she was, although that was true of almost anyone. But even she could appreciate the way his beautifully tailored coat showcased his broad shoulders, and how his breeches clung to his muscled legs with nary a wrinkle. As for his cravat, it was practically a work of art.

In fact, he was so damn perfect it made her stomach hurt. She’d been drawn in by perfection before, and it had almost ruined her.

“Stop trying to shock us, Gillian,” her grandmother said. “You know quite well it won’t work.”

Au contraire, Lady Marbury,” Griffin said. “I find myself quite riven with horror.”

He flashed Gillian the conspiratorial smile that always made her feel someone truly did understand her. And, more important, Griffin didn’t find her wanting, unlike apparently everyone else in London. She couldn’t wait to shake the dirt of England from her boots and return to Sicily—the sooner, the better.

“Miss Dryden is quite right,” Leverton said.

Gillian frowned. “I am? About what, exactly?”

He slowly crossed the room to her. He didn’t prowl, precisely, but something in the way he moved made her think of . . . a wolf, perhaps. Slipping silently through the night as he hunted in silence.

An exceedingly clever wolf, she guessed. One with very sharp teeth well suited for ripping apart a person’s carefully ordered life.

Leverton’s height forced her to tilt back her head to meet his gaze, and she found herself staring into eyes a beautiful shade of cobalt. She had to admit they were really quite amazing.

“Please believe me, Miss Dryden, when I say I meant no insult. I was merely surprised by a few details regarding your situation. It caused me to forget my manners.” A glint of amusement lurked in his gaze.

Her stomach twisted at the notion that he might be laughing at her. But when he smiled, her stomach seemed to untwist and start dancing with butterflies.

“Come, my dear girl,” he said in his beautifully cultured voice. “I beg you to forgive me before I’m compelled to do something drastic—like throw myself at your feet. That would be embarrassing for both of us.”

“Bloody coxcomb,” Griffin muttered.

Leverton ignored the aside, keeping his attention on Gillian. Her heart began to thump and heat crawled up her neck. “Oh, very well,” she grumbled. “I forgive you.”

“You are most gracious,” Leverton said. “Now, perhaps we can start over and leave all this awkwardness behind.”

“What a splendid idea,” Grandmamma said. “Your Grace, my granddaughter, Miss Gillian Dryden.”

The duke bowed as if she hadn’t just tumbled through the door, and as if they hadn’t just spent the last few minutes insulting each other.

“Gillian, I have the pleasure of introducing you to the Duke of Leverton,” Grandmamma added.

“Good Lord. I know who he is,” Gillian replied, not hiding her exasperation.

“Then make him a curtsey, my dear. A proper one.”

Repressing the urge to roll her eyes—one curtsey was as good as another, as far as she was concerned—Gillian dipped down and quickly came up.

Leverton’s eyebrows ticked up. On him, she rather expected it was the equivalent of a horrified gasp.

Well, nobody ever said she was graceful, at least when it came to that sort of silliness.

“Hmm,” he said. “We’ll have to work on that.”

“It’s all nonsense, if you ask me,” Gillian said. “All this bowing and scraping like a peasant before his master. Perhaps you’d like me to polish your boots while I’m at it.”

His disapproving gaze made her blink, and she almost took a step back. This was a man who did not like being crossed.

“Gillian Dryden, you will cease acting like heathen,” her grandmother rapped out.

“I had no idea you had revolutionary tendencies, Miss Dryden,” the duke said. “How very interesting. And no, I would not like you to polish my boots.  My valet would not approve.”

Now he sounded bored. And if he was bored, he would be more likely to go away and leave her alone. Splendid.

Still, she couldn’t help feeling irked by his dismissive tone and demeanor. The Duke of Leverton was certainly a snob and probably a fop. She didn’t know which was worse.

“Why would you think I have revolutionary tendencies, sir?” she added in a sugary-sweet voice. “Is it because I think I’m as good as anyone else, despite my unfortunate social status?”

Gillian braced herself for the expected put-down. She’d grown used to being labeled a prince’s by-blow, or worse. It was best to simply accept it and then do her best to avoid anyone who looked down on her because of her parentage. She’d learned that hard lesson a long time ago.

The duke studied her for a few moments before replying. “Of course you are.”

“Of course I am what?” she asked.

“As good as anyone else. Any sensible person must think so,” he said.

“That eliminates most of the ton,” Griffin said.

Leverton seemed to weigh her brother’s droll comment. “I believe your assessment is too pessimistic, Steele. Shall we say, perhaps fifty percent?”

The exchange was so silly that Gillian had to laugh. Leverton’s eyebrows ticked up again, but not, she thought, with disapproval. Then he flashed her another dazzling smile that made her feel like the floor had just tipped sideways.

“That’s much better,” he said.

She shook her head, exasperated. “I don’t understand any of this.”

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The Study of Seduction

The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries

25814323Description: A marriage of convenience ignites into a passionate love affair in the hotly anticipated second novel in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries’s addictive Sinful Suitors series!

When Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, agrees to help his best friend’s impetuous ward, Lady Clarissa Lindsey, in her time of need, he knows he’s in for trouble. He’s been hunting for someone to wed, and she’ll just get in the way. Although captivated by the whip-smart, free-spirited beauty, he fears she’d be all wrong as a wife … if she would even take such a gruff cynic for her husband. Too bad he wants nothing more than to have her for his own.

Clarissa has no intention of marrying anyone—not Edwin, whom she’s sure would be an overbearing husband, and certainly not the powerful French diplomat stalking her. But when matters escalate with the diplomat, she chooses Edwin’s gallant offer of a marriage between friends in hopes that it will deter her stalker. She expects nothing more than an amiable union, but their increasingly tempestuous kisses prove more than she bargained for. When her stalker’s vow to expose the lovers’ deepest secrets threatens to destroy their blossoming attraction, will their tenuous bond withstand public ruin, or will Edwin lose all that’s important to him to protect his bride?

Review: 

For some reason, I had been putting off reading Sabrina Jeffries new series. However, last week, I found the first book in my closet (yes, I have a book closet) while looking for something to read. While I did stop and start the book, that was more because new books came out last week and not do to The Art of Sinning itself. That being said, I found myself enjoying the second book, The Study of Seduction, more than I enjoyed the first book. In The Art of Sinning, it was clear the next book would be about Edwin and Clarissa. There were sparks between them and their jabs at one another were similar to Beatrice and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing (and we all know how that ends). This book took the attraction a step further and included a marriage of convenience between the couple! Edwin is best friend’s with Clarissa’s cousin and protector. When her cousin is forced to go to the Continent, he asks Edwin to watch out for Clarissa. She has been receiving unwanted attention from an attachee of the French Embassy. Edwin, of course, agrees to help out. The situation between Clarissa and her pursuer quickly escalates, leaving Edwin no choice but to marry Clarissa.

What I enjoyed most was the depth of character the author develops for both Clarissa and Edwin. At first look, Edwin is a stodgy lord while Clarissa is a flirty and stubborn lady. However, underneath their exteriors, Edwin carries an attraction to Clarissa which explodes into sensuality. Their conflict stems from their attraction to one another. Clarissa’s gusto hides scars from her past. As they grow passed their initial banter, each begins to trust one another and reveal their secrets. In my opinion, watching Edwin and Clarissa peel away their layers of defense is what makes this such a diverting read.

Rating: 4 out of 5!

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

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Happily Bedded Bliss

Happily Bedded Bliss by Tracy Anne Warren

25684964DescriptionFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Bedding Proposal comes a seductive new novel about the most devilishly dangerous men in London…

When Lady Esme Byron happens upon a gorgeous naked man sleeping beside a secluded country lake, she can’t resist the impulse to sketch him. But when her highly improper drawing is mistakenly revealed at a party, she finds her once-pristine reputation in tatters.

Gabriel, Lord Northcote, may be a notorious rakehell, but he is still stunned to find himself accused of despoiling a duke’s sister—especially since he’s never set eyes on her. When Esme’s six irate brothers demand a hurried trip down the aisle, he has no choice but to comply. He thinks he can forget about his inconvenient bride but Esme Byron is no ordinary woman and Gabriel is about to learn just how unforgettable she can be.

Review: 

It has been a while since I read a Tracy Anne Warren book and, to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with the last few books in this series. However, for some reason, the youngest Bryon sister, Esme, has always stood out in my mind. So when her book was released, I put aside my disinterest in the series and decided to read it. I’m glad I did!

Esme is an artist and a bit of a rebel. That combination leads her into trouble when she decides to draw a naked man she spies on her neighbor’s property. This, of course, leads to a scandal when that picture is accidentally revealed at a house party. Thus, Esme and her model, Gabriel, while they have never meet, are forced to get married. I have a fondness for books where the couple have to get married and then are forced to figure out their relationship as they slowly start to fall in love. This book follows those plot points. Two strangers are forced to marry and figure out their lives together. I did like that Gabriel didn’t hold a grudge against Esme for causing their situation. It was clearly her fault and he could have easily blamed her. Instead, the conflicts in their relationship steam from his childhood scars. Esme starts the book as a young girl whose impulsive nature gets her forced into a marriage. However, as the book goes on, she starts to mature and temper her impulsiveness. She begins to settle into her life as a wife and mistress of the manor but does so while remaining true to herself. Gabriel, in turn, learns to work through the emotional trauma of his past and to rely on his wife. Overall, a very pleasant read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Pleasure for Pleasure

Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James

428677Description: Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should—she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss . . . and is caught!

She doesn’t want to marry the young hellion—but who’s to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip; and his friend the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancée.

Can a marriage forced by stuffy convention and unwilling desire become the match of the season?

Review: It’s been a long while since I’ve read this series by Eloisa James. Previously, I know I enjoyed the books and rereading Pleasure for Pleasure, I find that enjoyment held true. I actually want to go back and reread the first three books also. I really enjoyed Josie, the heroine. She has gumption and a persona about her that makes her very relatable. She, do to an unfortunate nickname, gets hung up on her weight for most of the book. The hero, Mayne, is able to convince her that she is attractive and that her weight doesn’t define her. This is one of those lessons that are sometimes not addressed in romance novels and perhaps should be. Josie’s weight does not define her as a woman nor should it. Mayne and the other characters in the book, such as her sisters, see passed her weight to the lovely woman Josie is. The problem that I had with the book is Mayne’s engagement and how the tendrils of his relationship with Josie start while he is engaged to someone else.

Pleasure for Pleasure Teaser

I forgot how much I enjoyed watching the relationship between Darlington and Lady Griselda develop. Darlington abandons his hurtful wit and doesn’t let the age difference between them stop his pursuit of Lady Griselda. It is an excellent addition to the main story line. And also allows Josie freedom to get into trouble. Trouble, that Mayne is able to deliver her from. Reading this book makes me realize how much Eloisa James has developed as a writer. While I secretly adore her older books, her writing becomes wittier and more enjoyable with each book I read. I do think her newer books are less awkward than some of her older ones. Now I  want to reread her Fairy Tale Retelling series and perhaps her Desperate Duchesses series before her new book is released. Rereading Pleasure for Pleasure was like reuniting with old friends but after while, you realize why you don’t spend much time with them anymore. 

I’m sure it has been addressed but I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring it up: the cover. The most unfortunate case of an inaccurate cover. Josie’s weight is a major plot point and yet the cover model is quite skinny. Although, I do approve of the sensuality of the cover. It fits with Mayne and Josie’s relationship.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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His Wicked Wish

His Wicked Wish by Olivia Drake

 

26114460Description: MARRIAGE TO A NOBLEMAN? NOT IN HER WILDEST DREAMS. . .

The daughter of a disgraced woman and a common actor, Madelyn Swann has been shunned by the nobility. No proper lady would traipse about on a Covent Garden stage, let alone sell herself at auction to the highest bidder. So why in heaven’s name would Nathan Atwood, Viscount Rowley, make a generous offer for her hand?

Turns out Maddy is exactly the type of woman Nathan wants as his wife. Finally, he can embarrass his snobbish and cruel father, the Earl of Gilmore—and scandalize London society—with his beautiful, unsuitable bride. Then he’ll depart England forever and leave his wife behind. Having secret plans of her own, Maddy is happy to play the role … only to find that enjoying her husband’s seduction requires no acting whatsoever. But as she falls madly in love with Nathan, can she persuade him to stay with her for always?

Review: 

I really liked this book. I read it right after reading a lot of contemporary erotic romances so it was a nice transition back into historical romance. The hero, Nathan, has a difficult relationship with his family. He had been traveling in China, working in the trade, when a letter from his godmother calls him back home. He believes that his hated father has died. However, it turns out that his father recovered and his older brother died, leaving Nathan heir to the earldom. To wound his father, with whom Nathan has a painful relationship, he decides to become extremely scandalous. And what is more scandalous than marrying an actress who is about to auction herself? Our heroine, Madelyn, is of course the actress. She was raised in the theater and is determined to retire and focus on getting intro into society. It turns out her mother is  the daughter of a duke and was disinherited when she married Madelyn’s father. Madelyn wants revenge on her grandfather for the hurt caused to her mother. She agrees to Nathan’s marriage proposal as a way of getting that revenge. Each character is driven by revenge but as they begin to fall in love, that revenge threatens their relationship. Altogether, this was an entertaining read which I would definitely recommend!  

Rating: 4 out of 5! 

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

 

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