Book Review 22: A Rebel without a Rogue (The Penningtons Book One) by Bliss Bennet

Title: A Rebel without a Rogue (The Penningtons Book One)image
Author: Bliss Bennet
Release Date: 15 September 2015

A woman striving for justice

Fianna Cameron has devoted her life to avenging the death of her father, hung as a traitor during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Now, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, only one last miscreant remains: Major Christopher Pennington, the English army officer who not only oversaw her father’s execution, but who falsely maligned his honor. Fianna risks everything to travel to London and confront the man who has haunted her every nightmare. Only after her pistol misfires does she realize her sickening mistake: the Pennington she wounded is far too young to be the man who killed her father.

A man who will protect his family at all costs

Rumors of being shot by a spurned mistress might burnish the reputation of a rake, but for Kit Pennington, determined to add to his family’s honor by winning at seat in Parliament, such salacious gossip is nothing but a nightmare. To regain his good name, Kit will have to track down his mysterious attacker and force her to reveal the true motivation behind her unprovoked assault. Accepting the mistress of a former schoolmate as an ally in his search is risky enough, but when Kit begins to developing feelings for the icy, ethereal Miss Cameron, more than his political career is in danger. For Kit’s beginning to suspect that Fianna Cameron knows far more about the shooting—and the reasons behind it—than she’s willing to reveal.

As their search begins to unearth long-held secrets, Kit and Fianna find themselves caught between duty to family and their belief in what’s right. How can you balance the competing demands of loyalty and justice—especially when you add love to the mix?

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Book Review 21: Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore by Rose Pressey

Title: Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore image
Author: Rose Pressey
Release Date: 27 October 2015
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.

This looks like a job for the fashion police!

A hot-ticket charity fashion show is the perfect chance for Cookie Chanel, proud owner of It’s Vintage Y’All, to show off her stylistic savvy for a good cause. But when a famous fashionista is fatally flattened, and the ghost of a former private investigator asks for Cookie’s help, she has to scurry to sew up a solution. With clever clues from Wind Song, her psychic cat, and sassy suggestions from Charlotte, her ghost-in-residence, Cookie must unravel the sinister stitches of a deadly design–before she becomes the next fashion victim…

Don’t miss Cookie Chanel’s Fashion Tips

Rating: 4/5
Review:

I requested for an ARC of this book because of the nice cover photo and the intriguing description of the story. This is the first book of Rose Pressey that I have read and I enjoyed reading it. Cookie Chanel and her team composed of some humans, two ghosts, and a psychic cat, were all fun to read about as they worked on solving a murder. True to her fashion calling, Cookie does not go on any errand without dressing the part, though readers who are not so much into fashion may not be able to envision every piece of clothing described (sadly, like me). I liked the light atmosphere in the book and the overall sense of humor but sometimes the language used by the characters sounded too formal because of the lack of contractions. Nevertheless, every page had me wondering who the murderer was (and wishing that Wind Song the psychic cat would have more scenes). The story wrapped up neatly with the murderer being caught just in time. However, little bits like what’s going to happen to Cookie and her boys (she has not one but two) and what the heck Wind Song is has been left up in the air so the next book is definitely something to look forward to.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher/NetGalley for an honest review.

Book Review 20: The Madness of Lord Westfall (Order of the M.U.S.E #2) by Mia Marlowe

Title: The Madness of Lord Westfall (Order of the M.U.S.E #2)
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Author: Mia Marlowe
Release Date: 21 September 2015
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Buy: Amazon

Pierce Langdon, Viscount Westfall is mad. Everyone knows it. He fell from a tree when he was a boy and woke to hear strange voices. When the voices grow stronger as he grows older, his family commits him to Bedlam. But what he hears are the thoughts of those around him—a gift to be used in service to the Order of the M.U.S.E. Until he falls again…this time for a totally unsuitable woman.

Lady Nora Claremont hides her heartbreak behind the facade of a carefree courtesan. Viscount Westfall is the most confusing man she’s ever met. He seems to know exactly what she wants…and what she’s thinking.

Which is a dangerous thing, because what Nora wants is Pierce.

And what she’s thinking could expose her as a traitor to the crown…

Rating: 4.5/5
Review:

This is the first time I’ve read a story by Mia Marlowe and I have to say that I was intrigued by the idea of a historical romance novel starring characters with special abilities who belong to a secret order. Though this was apparently the second of the series (I missed The Curse of Lord Stanstead. Drat.), I was not disappointed. The story was entertaining and I kept wondering what was going to happen next. The characters were well written and it was hard not to sympathize with both Lord Westfall and Lady Nora as the story progressed. The passages from their secret journals were most insightful and necessary. There was some humor in the story but it helped a great deal that the author did not make fun of mental illness despite Lord Westfall’s sarcastic musings at times. However, I did hope that there would be more action for the Order of the M.U.S.E. as all of the members are very interesting. But all of them will be getting their own book it seems if you check out the author’s page (Meg’s story is coming out in November) so readers won’t be disappointed. I totally recommend this book for those who want a light and entertaining read, and those who won’t mind waiting for the next installment to come out.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher/NetGalley for an honest review

Excerpt: The Shadow (The Florentine Series #2) by Sylvain Reynard

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The Shadow

Sylvain Reynard

Website / Twitter / Facebook

B&N / Amazon / iTunes

Excerpt

✨✨✨

Raven watched as William efficiently disrobed, neatly folding every article of black clothing (with the exception of underwear, which he never wore), and placing it on the vanity.

She brushed imaginary lint from her dress as he stood in front of her, naked.

He was under six feet in height, his body lean and strong. Raven took a moment to appreciate the definition of his muscled chest and abdomen, and the strong cast to his thighs.  Not even a statue carved by the most talented sculptor could create a being with so much perfection.

His face put her in mind of an angel with intense, gray eyes that now looked at her expectantly.

She hid her face.  “You said you loved me.”

“I did. What’s more, I meant it.”

“Love is a peculiar thing. I’ve seen it. I’ve even cheered for it. But I never believed it was for me.”

“Why shouldn’t a beautiful, fierce young woman hope for love?”

“Because, as you put it, human beings are shallow.”

“Love is deep.” His rich voice echoed in the bathroom.

“Love is having the power to destroy another person.”

William stepped closer.  “Are you afraid of being destroyed?”

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Book Review 19: The Shadows Series by Marni Mann

imageTitle: The Shadows Series Book  Set (Seductive Shadows & Seductive Secrecy)
Author: Marni Mann

Reader’s Beware: This is not your mother’s romance, nor is there a rich, playboy millionaire seducing an innocent virgin. Charlie leads a passionate, controversial, and thought-provoking life – the sex scenes will make you blush, the twists will make you gasp in disbelief and the characters’ angst and pain will make your heart ache. Prepare to dive into a highly sensual, unique storyline with substance and a touch of darkness – as well as explicit language and descriptive sexual content. After all, real life is lived in the shadows, and Marni will take you there. But love can linger in the darkness….

“Seductive Shadows” (Book One)

Charlie is a sensually-inspired art student, desperately seeking an escape from the abusive past that haunts her and a tragic accident that emptied her heart. Scarred and unable to love, her yearning for physical pleasure leads her into a tantalizing, dangerous world of power and seduction. The anonymity of the deal offers security; the money brings financial freedom and the madam is the mother figure she longs for.

But the thrill of the mansion and its arousing dominance quickly fades when she meets renowned-yet-mysterious Cameron Hardy, whose intense baby blue eyes send a nervous flutter through her core. Cameron is sexy, and not in a subtle way. He stimulates Charlie’s art, her intellect and her desires. Just as he begins to break through her emotional boundaries, she discovers a devastating connection between her past and her scandalous work at the mansion, shattering everything she thought to be true.

Provocative, intoxicating and erotic, Seductive Shadows is the unforgettable tale of a young woman’s self-discovery as she learns to forgive, to love and be loved, and to find redemption amidst a remarkable journey that will captivate your mind and stimulate your soul.

“Seductive Secrecy” (Book Two)

“We were two broken souls who had found each other in a world of shadows. We were held together by a connection of secrets, dark and fearful and reluctant to leave. Their depth was seductive and overwhelming, an endless ocean of black that threatened to cover the brilliance we kept reaching for with each other.”

With her art career flourishing and the mansion predators no longer a threat, Charlie is creating a new life. Her desires have changed, and she has a chance at a healthy, loving relationship with Cameron—if they can bury the memories and doubts that plague them.

Can they overcome the destruction of their clouded pasts, or will the revelation of more painful, shocking secrets pull them back into the shadows?

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Book Review 18: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Title: Outlander  wpid-outlander-blue-cover-198x300.jpg
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Release Date: 01 July 1991

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Rating: 5/5

Review:

I am not a fan of historical romances but after weeks of prodding from PakwanStripes who’s such a huge fan (and the physical therapist who missed my scheduled session), I finally started reading Outlander. And kept on reading. And reading. And reading. This book is so disturbingly addictive that I just need to find out what’s going to happen next (to Jamie mostly).

The main characters are Claire and Jamie. Claire belongs to the 1940’s but she gets thrown back 200 years after walking through a stone circle. She finds herself in Scotland and meets Jamie who has a bounty on his head. They get married out of necessity, and the book tells about their life together and how Claire tries to use what she knows as history to try and change the past that she’s currently in. If you thought that life in the 1700’s was much simpler, Ms. Gabaldon will make you think again. She’s got details for everything from the medical treatments to the superstitions to the torture that will make you feel like you’re walking with Claire and Jamie (and all the unwashed inhabitants in the leochs) through every funny and excruciating step they take in order to save lives.

Outlander is the perfect diversion for when you want to forget the present for a bit and go traipsing through the Scottish highlands with Claire and Jamie, and the rest of the highland bunch. I’m already on the third book, Voyager, and I still cannot put my tablet down.

Cover Reveal: The Shadow (The Florentine Series #2) by Sylvain Reynard

THE SHADOW

(The Florentine Series #2)

By Sylvain Reynard

02 February 2016

Good Reads | B&N | IndieBound | Amazon | Book Depository

image New York Times bestselling author Sylvain Reynard presents the hotly anticipated, intoxicating follow-up to The Raven… Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart… A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy. As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Book Review 17: Hot Alphas (Anthology) by Lora Leigh, Laurelin McGee, Shiloh Walker, and Kate Douglas

Title: Hot Alphas (Anthology)24422520
Authors: Lora Leigh, Laurelin McGee, Shiloh Walker, Kate Douglas
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Four sexy short stories featuring four hot alpha heroes, headlined by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh.

In Erin’s Kiss by Lora Leigh, ex-Marine Turk has become Erin’s sworn protector. The target of her CIA-operative brother’s foes, Turk is the only port Erin has to cling to in a storm. He promised her brother long ago never to touch her–but how can he resist a woman who aches to be with him as much as he burns for her?

In misTaken by Laurelin McGee, Jaylene is an independent woman whose feminist values run deep. The last thing she wants is a man telling her what to do. Until she meets her mysterious new neighbor. He makes her realize that you can still be strong and relinquish control… in the bedroom. But as their passion consumes them, Jaylene isn’t sure he is who he says he is.

In Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker, Tate longs to spend his nights with Ali, a woman he’s loved for years. But while Ali’s heart aches for him, her head has reservations. Ali knows that Tate has unresolved anger that is a force to be reckoned with…but the heat that blazes between them is undeniable. Now both Tate and Ali are left to wonder: Can love really conquer all?

In Tangled by Kate Douglas, Nate shows up to work at Tangled Vineyards ready to do what he loves best–craft award-winning wines. But when something better comes in the form of Cassie, the winemaker and former owner, Nate is completely love-drunk. Getting involved with Tangled’s mixologist is a bad way to start off a new job, but with Cassie as a temptation, Nate doesn’t stand a chance.

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Book Review 16: The Mistake (Off-Campus 2) by Elle Kennedy

TM AmazonTitle: The Mistake
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Order Ebook: Amazon.com Kindle / Amazon.co.uk Kindle /Amazon.ca Kindle / Amazon.com.au / Kindle / Barnes & Noble NookKobo Books / iBooks/iTunes Store

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

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Book Review 15: All For You (Book 1, Paris Hearts) by Laura Florand

Title: All For Youimage

Author:Laura Florand

Release Date: April 20, 2015

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / Kindle / Kobo

Three young women trying to make their way in the most romantic city on Earth must learn how to open their hearts to love. 

Some crushes aren’t meant to be

When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.

Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

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