New Release in the Maiden Lane Series

Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth Hoyt

Historical Romance

 

Once Upon a Maiden Lane (novella)

 

This is a novella in the Maiden Lane Series. I have not read the entire series of books so I can attest to the fact that this can standalone on its own. I received a free copy of this book and decided to review it because I liked it.

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

Once Upon a Maiden Lane

Quick & Dirty summary: Miss Mary Whitsun is not amused when Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell mistakes her for his fiancée. She’s even less amused when Henry tries to convince everyone she’s the long lost twin of Lady Johanna Albright. Henry is sure that he’s correct, not only because of the facts, but because he’d much rather marry Mary than Johanna. But when someone begins to shoot at Mary and Henry, they realize there is more at stake than simply a lost child.

This is a fun book to read. There are a lot of twists and turns, and the banter between Henry and Mary is enjoyable. It isn’t exactly a romantic suspense because it’s never really that scary and the central question of the book isn’t, who is out to murder Mary and/or Henry, but rather is Mary really the lost sister of Johanna.

I was totally surprised by the ending. It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would and that’s great on one hand, and unsettling on the other. What made me unsettled is the ending didn’t seem to be quite as believable for the time period the book is set in. Now, even writing this is uncomfortable for me because I hate those kinds of arguments. People behave in all sorts of unexpected ways, regardless of social strictures, so I usually ignore it when people say that. So take what I’ve said with a grain of salt, plus a dash more because I can’t get into specifics without spoiling the end, and go ahead and read the book.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $1.99)

If you’ve been following this series then I think this is well worth your time and money. If you haven’t been following the series, like me, it’s worth picking up if you like historical romances and you want something a bit shorter. It’s a quick paced book that’s worth two bucks.

Something else you might enjoy:

I don’t read a lot of historical novellas, so I don’t have anything for you here. Like this one, novellas tend to be a part of a series and I don’t want to throw out a recommendation for a novella in the series if you haven’t been reading the entire series.

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Surprise! Kissing Tolstoy

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Kissing Tolstoy, an all new standalone from USA Today bestselling author Penny Reid is available now!

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Proceeds for the month of November go to hurricane relief efforts!

What do you do when you discover that your super-hot blind date from months ago is now your super-hot Russian Lit professor?

You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!

‘Kissing Tolstoy’ is the first book in the Dear Professor series, is 46k words, and can be read as a standalone. A shorter version of this story (28k words) was entitled ‘Nobody Looks Good in Leather Pants’ and was available via Penny Reid’s newsletter for free over the course of 2017.

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Read Today!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hU59cN

Amazon Universal: myBook.to/KissingTolstoy

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Meet Penny Reid:


USA Today bestselling author Penny Reid lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, three kids, and an inordinate amount of yarn. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books.
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Connect with Penny:

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Wanted: Mom for Christmas

Cates Brothers series by Lee Kilraine

Contemporary Romance

 

Wanted: Mom for Christmas

 

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley. I decided to post this review because I think you might enjoy this book as much as I did, if not more!

Wanted mom for christmas

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Nora Joy needs some time to regroup. As an Olympic volleyball player, Nora is no stranger to set backs and losses, but the problems are beginning to pile up. Taking a temporary job as Rent-A-Mom, Nora is surprised to find herself face-to-face with her high school ex-boyfriend Hawk Savage. Hawk is pretty happy with his life, despite his son’s insistence that he needs a mom. When Nora Joy shows up at exactly the right moment, Hawk can’t help but spend the holiday season reliving some of his greatest memories with her. What happens after the holidays, though, is unclear to both Hawk and Nora.

I really enjoyed this book. Nora is great. She’s a strong woman with a good head on her shoulders who is facing adversity with grace. I love how the drama in this book is straightforward. Nora and Hawk have a past. They deal with the past and move into the present quickly and realistically.

There are a bunch of components that make this story interesting and lively. The pacing of the book is quick and while there aren’t a whole lot of secondary characters that stand out, Hawk’s kids Heather and Henry are sweet. There are a few life lessons that Nora is able to pass along to the kids that deepen her relationship with the kids in great ways.

A part of me wishes this book was longer, because I loved the last chapter/epilogue. I wish I could have seen more of what life was like during their happily-ever-after, but the end left me happy and smiling. I can’t really ask for much more in a holiday romance.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $1.99)

This is a quick read, but definitely worth buying. It’s a great Christmas story with some wholesome lessons snuck in between the naughty bits.

Something else you might enjoy:

Try the Time in Between by Kristen Ashley. It’s not a sweet holiday romance, but it does have a cute little girl who helps the romance along.

My Favorite Book is FREE!

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“Extremely funny, witty, and masterfully written (romantic comedy)! If you are looking for a smart, intelligently worded love story, pick this one up. It was a “couldn’t put it down” read for me.
-Tina Reber, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid is FREE for a limited time only!

Grab your copy today!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nqQsj0
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From the USA Today Bestselling author of ‘Truth or Beard’, this is a full-length, 110k word novel is the first book in the Knitting in the City series.

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Dark Historical Romance: Duke of Desire

Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth Hoyt

Historical Romance

 

Duke of Desire

This is the 12th book in the Maiden Lane Series. I have not read the previous books so I can attest to the fact that this can standalone on its own. I received a free copy of this book and decided to review it because I liked it a lot and wanted to refute some of the negative reviews I have read.

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

duke of desire

Quick & Dirty summary: Lady Iris Jordan is almost certain she’s going to die. After being abducted by the vile Lords of Chaos on the way home from a wedding, she’s determined to fight no matter how hopeless the situation may be. When one of the (naked) Lords carts her off, she sees her chance and shoots him, not realizing that he’s trying to save her. Ralphael, the Duke of Dyemore cannot sacrifice the lovely Iris, even if saving her might reveal to the Lords that he is a traitor. He’s determined to bring them all down, but the price may come at the expense of a life, not his life as he was expecting.

I really enjoyed this book. Besides the obvious parts about Elizabeth Hoyt’s smooth writing style, great dialogue and steady plot development, I love Raphael’s psychological depth. I think broody heroes can be a tad overrated, but Raphael certainly earns his status. I admire Lady Iris and think she’s a good match for Raphael.

Character development aside, I think the novel also address some really important themes. Sexual abuse is a sensitive topic, and this book warrants a trigger warning, but what this book does more than others is shows the deep psychological damage and cost long-term abuse can cause. That there are two contrasting characters helps to show that the same abuse does not affect everyone the same way. So kudos to Hoyt on addressing this weighty issue and helping to diminish some of the stigma.

My one complaint is the lack of insight into Raphael’s emotional changes. He’s pretty consistent all the way through the book, but towards the end there are some important shifts and there’s not a whole lot of transition between them. As the reader, I’m not really sure why things change and that’s a little frustrating. I think a few sentences could have made the changes a little easier by providing some transitions and insight without adding too much verbage.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $7.99)

The kindle version of this book is a steep $8. I just don’t believe in paying $8 for an ebook unless it’s nonfiction/reference. BUT, the trade paperback is only $7.19 and I think 7 bucks is a good price for a book you can hold in your hands and share widely with friends. Buy the paperback.

Something else you might enjoy:

Try Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I. It’s the first book of the Bridgerton series, which is in my all time top 3 favorite series. The similarities are obvious.

2017 Book Challenge: A Book with a Blue Cover

A Man Called Ove by Fredric Backman

A Man Called Ove

Synopsis: Ove spends his days patrolling his neighborhood, making sure the bikes are placed in the correct area, that cars obey traffic signs, and that his garage is locked. But when new neighbors move in, they prevent Ove from carrying out his plans. As Ove’s solitary existence is challenged by neighbors left and right, Ove realizes that he still has more to fight for.

I love this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think of my grandpa. Ove is the quintessential grumpy old man, but as the story progresses; we get a glimpse as to why Ove ignores some basic social rules. What we, as the reader, begin to see is that Ove is not a modern man. He is a man who only says what he will do—little more, little less. What’s also amazing about this book, besides Ove as a character, is the love story that is revealed through flashbacks. It’s always a little annoying when a male author writes a male lead character that the novel isn’t characterized as anything other than fiction. But, in my opinion, this is one of the greatest love stories. Rich and deep, it is poignant and bittersweet. Love, not just romantic love, is represented in all of its forms. A great picture of the beauty of life. I can’t say enough about this book.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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Synopsis: Nella Oortman can’t help but be offended by the wedding present from her new husband; what eighteen year-old woman, newly married wants to play with a toy? Nella quickly feels neglected and lonely as the new Mrs. Johannes Brandt but can’t help but be captivated by the exquisite details and beauty of the miniature home, their home. Nella begins to believe that the miniatures, and the miniaturist that supplies them, are much more in tune to her household than she.

I picked up this book at a store in a mall in England (yes, in England their malls still have bookstores) because the title and the time period interested me. Although the cover is not completely blue (the back cover and spine are solid blue), I am going to cheat and use for the challenge because it is set in Amsterdam and everyone is familiar with Delft Blue. In this plot-driven story I kept finding myself thinking it was getting “curiouser and curiouser”. And to its credit, I only mildly suspected one of the many twists and turns throughout the novel, but was more often sitting on the couch with my eyebrows raised making my surprised face. So put away your verkeerspel, put on your patterns, get your favorite puffert or oliekoechken, and spend some guilders for this story.

New Release Review & Giveaway: Breakaway

Breakaway
Sophia Henry
Published by: Random House: Flirt
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

In a standalone hockey romance that tugs at readers’ heartstrings, a broken ex-pro learns to live and love again—all thanks to the complicated, wonderful nurse who gives him a second chance.

Brianna Collins needs to break away from her overbearing family. Her parents expect her to “fix” her brother after a series of concussions derailed his hockey career. Unfortunately, no doctor will give him clearance to play, and she’s finished with being the person they rely on to perform a miracle that will never happen. For Bree, a six-month nursing assignment at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the perfect escape.

Luke Daniels, former forward for the NHL’s Charlotte Aviators, has spent close to a year rehabbing a career-threatening injury—and distracting himself however he can. Worlds collide when Luke realizes that the girl from his latest one-night-stand happens to be the new nurse at the hospital where he volunteers in the pediatric unit. What’s more, Bree’s the only person who makes him excited about life again.

Despite her initial reservations, Luke can’t help pursuing sweet, beautiful Bree. Then he realizes it was her brother whose career he ended with an accidental hit, and he falls back on the thing that’s always helped suppress his demons: alcohol. But if Luke doesn’t kick his old habits, he just may lose the one thing he loves more than hockey.

Don’t miss any of Sophia Henry’s exhilarating Pilots Hockey novels:

DELAYED PENALTY | POWER PLAY | INTERFERENCE | UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT | BREAKAWAY

Praise for Sophia Henry

“Sophia Henry’s hockey novels are fun and flirty, warm and sweet, with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy hockey heroes. They’ll bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.”USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Books-A-Million / Google Play

 

Author Bio:

Award-Winning Author, Sophia Henry, is a proud Detroit native who fell in love with reading, writing and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.

She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

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BOOK REVIEW

Breakaway (Book 5)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I decided to review it because I like this book, as well as all the other books in the series. While this is book 5, it can be read on its own. To read reviews of previous books, please follow this link.

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Breanna Collins needs to get away from her parents, her brother, and her ex-boyfriend. When she’s heartbroken over a hockey player she met through her brother, she decides to move across the country to North Carolina to be a traveling nurse. Knowing her assignment will only be about 6 months, she’s only interested in a hookup when she meets sexy Luke Daniels. Luke is just beginning to come to terms with being out of the starting lineup of the Aviators. When he meets Breanna, he can’t help but be attracted to this confident, beautiful woman. But Luke has a lot of things he hasn’t dealt with, his career being one of them, and when his past reappears, Luke has to decide what he wants his future to look like, including who is in it.

Overall I enjoyed this book. I enjoy the hospital backdrop of Breanna’s job and the idea that Luke is struggling with his transition from player to coach. While I’m not sure Luke’s angst is resolved at the end of the book, it added a unique element.

What I wasn’t as thrilled about in this book compared to other books in this series is how much internal dialogue there is compared to conversations between characters. In general, stream of consciousness slows down a book and this one slowed quiet a bit in the middle of the novel. That being said, this is almost always a preference and so for others, you may not feel the same way.

Like all of Sophia Henry’s books so far, there is a lot of stuff going on psychologically for the characters. It’s interesting because there’s a lot of time spent in providing backstory to Luke and Breanna so that we know their whole lives didn’t begin when they met each other. This is an instant attraction book that takes it’s time in building an emotional connection between two characters.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $4.99)

I think this is a bit steep for an ebook. If this is a bit high for you too, I’d highly recommend asking your local library to buy the book, along with the rest of the books in the series, so you can enjoy it that way.

Something else you might enjoy:

You have to read The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen. It’s a college romance, but it is amazing! Similar theme, but with a few unexpected twists.