Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Review & Giveaway: This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman


Publication Date: October 29th 2019 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
Purchase Link click HERE

About the book:
Introducing the Bow Street Bachelors—men who work undercover for London’s first official police force—and the women they serve to protect. . .and wed?

Shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed is done with men who covet her purse more than her person. Even worse than the ton’s lecherous fortune hunters, however, is the cruel cousin determined to force Georgie into marriage. If only she could find a way to be . . . widowed? Georgie hatches a madcap scheme to wed a condemned criminal before he’s set to be executed. All she has to do is find an eligible bachelor in prison to marry her, and she’ll be free. What could possibly go wrong?


Benedict William Henry Wylde, scapegrace second son of the late Earl of Morcott and well-known rake, is in Newgate prison undercover, working for Bow Street. Georgie doesn’t realize who he is when she marries him—and she most certainly never expects to bump into her very-much-alive, and very handsome, husband of convenience at a society gathering weeks later. Soon Wylde finds himself courting his own wife, hoping to win her heart since he already has her hand. But how can this seductive rogue convince brazen, beautiful Georgie that he wants to be together…until actual death do they part?
My Thoughts:
Georgiana is desperate to keep control of her life and fortune which propels her into a brash decision. She arranges to marry a convict, one scheduled for the gallows so that she’ll be a widow in control of her life and fortune instead at the mercy of her malicious cousin, Josiah, intent on marrying her for those purposes. Georgiana’s worried he’ll corner her, make a move that’s will lead to a ruined reputation if she doesn’t marry him. He’s already tried, and she doesn’t want to take any more chances. This guy was a sniveling creep, and I’m glad Georgiana stood up to him on more than one occasion, but he wasn’t one for taking a hint, let me tell you!

Benedict isn’t a man to be manipulated, but the undercover nature of his assignment means he must hold his tongue. Yet, when the vows are spoken Benedict can’t help but show Georgiana the real man underneath with a smoldering kiss that neither will forget.

Georgiana is about to get the shock of her life when her plans widowhood doesn’t go exactly as she expected! Neither Benedict or Georgiana want to be married, but it’s so much fun to see these two come to grips with the reality of their situation and the unexpected intense draw of desire between them. There’s an irresistible pull physically, but mentally they challenge and excite each other as well. Can this random chance marriage bond be an unexpected love match or are they on an inevitable road to heartbreak?  

I’m not an expert on this time period in history, and I’m not sure if it’s accurate that Georgiana had that level of independence as business savvy female, but I just loved it! Georgiana was a strong, smart woman, not willing to let being a woman limit her choices in life.

Loved the chemistry between Georgiana and Benedict from their first meeting on! Which just happened to be when they marry.  The romance between them was wickedly delicious, but I loved their friendship, too, as they paired together thwart the bad guys from Benedict’s original assignment.

This Earl of Mine was a fun and steamy historical romance, one that I devoured and enjoyed! I can’t wait for the next Bow Street Bachelors installment!

4 Suns



About the author:
Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of historical romances, including her RITA® nominated Renaissance romp, The Devil To Pay, and the novels in the Secrets & Spies series To Steal a HeartA Raven’s Heart, and A Counterfeit Heart. When not writing novels that feature feisty, intelligent heroines and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss, Kate works as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several popular TV shows in the UK. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England. Follow her on Twitter to learn more.

The publisher is giving away a print copy of This Earl of Mine to one lucky reader! The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Good luck!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Post #50


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. 

I'm getting this up late, because I've been super busy this weekend!

This has been a week of traffic jams and fires, thankfully although the fires were within miles of my house they put it out quickly, but it did still take out three homes. More inland (about twenty miles from us) they're not so fortunate and the entire freeway route out that way was closed all day Friday. I think it's burned twenty-five homes, and it's still not out.

On a happier note, I went to the Los Angeles Flower Mart super early on Friday because a friend asked me to make two arrangements for her wedding ceremony:



Read:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)


Enjoyed all three!

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)



I got a lot this week, and I have a lot to read in November! I just couldn't resist, though!
I don't read much YA anymore, but Day Zero sounded really good. Carolyn Brown stories always make me smile so I'm looking forward to The Family Journal. Detective D.D. Warren is teaming up with Kimberly Quincy and Flora Dane again in Lisa Gardner's When You See Me, and I love the character combination! I hope we get some romance for Flora!  First Cut is a new to me author, hope it's good. Love Allison Brennan so of course I want to read her newest series. 

Watched:


Continuing on my super hero movie journey and watched Thor: The Dark World. Better than the last Thor movie. To be honest, the Thor movies aren't my favorite in the super hero collection, but it was still entertaining.  I need to figure out which movie I'm supposed to watch next. 

How was your week?



Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne


Publication Date: September 19th 2019 by Gallery Books
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

There are no good men left in New York City. At least that’s Claire Hayes’s conviction after finding out her late husband was not the man she thought he was. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her cheating husband, Claire sets out to redesign her boring, beige Upper East Side brownstone and make it something all her own. But what starts out as a simple renovation becomes a lot more complicated when she meets her bad-tempered contractor Scott Turner.

Scott bluntly makes it known to Claire that he only took on her house for a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and he doesn’t hesitate to add that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess with a penchant for pink. But when long workdays turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction...

Filled with laugh-out-loud scenes that blend perfectly with the touching friendships Layne brings to life on the page, this “hugely entertaining” (USA TODAY) novel is perfect for fans of Lauren Weisberger.

My Thoughts:
Scott and Claire meet because he agrees to take on her brownstone remodel.  Clair wants everything changed, no evidence of the life she shared with Brayden, her now dead husband she discovered was cheating on her with not just one woman, but multiple. After being burned Claire resolves to be single, not wanting to risk her heart, but she’d maybe like a fling.  However, as the story progresses it becomes clear to Claire that she’s not built for a fling where the heart isn’t involved, and I think for most women this is true. It is for me at any rate. 

Scott and Claire spend a lot of time together since he’s a hands-on type of contractor. He’s abrasive and brutally honest, giving his opinions on Claire’s decisions both for her house and her life even when it’s clear she’s not asking for advice, well at first, anyhow. Claire gives as good as she gets, though, and there’s quite a bit of fun verbal sparring.  As the renovation progresses, they become close, their personal lives intersecting as they share common friends, and Claire finds herself more and more attracted to Scott, and vice versa.

Of course, Scott is the no-strings attached sort of guy after having a bad relationship experience and because he wants to be free to take jobs anywhere in the world he likes without any personal obligations. Why are guys always like this? Don’t they think of being old and alone in the future? Whatever, you know this is a romance, so he won’t hold to that, but it’s something I wonder about.

I think my heart went out to Claire the most in this series, because she was the wife after all, and she was clueless to her husband’s cheating. Plus, he died and so Claire never got to confront him, she was angry and grieving at the same time when it first happened. I was pleased to see Claire moving on and not letting the past dictate her future happiness. I really wanted a HEA for Claire! I absolutely loved the ending!

4 Suns




Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sunday Post #49


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. 



I traveled up to my daughter's house on Thursday, but it was a miserable 5 hour delay before I got in. It would've taken less time to drive. A long and extremely frustrating day as I rushed from work to catch the flight. Anyhow, we've had a nice two days since then. Went went to the park (picture above) on Friday, and paddle boating today (Saturday). Lunch out both days and dinner and a movie in both days. Flying home tomorrow morning. I'm crossing my fingers there won't be any flight issues. 

Read:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)



I really enjoyed Love on Lexington Avenue, far more than the first book. I listened to the second Ice Planet Barbarians: Barbarian Alien and it was just as good as the first.  Loved A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe! Giving away a copy here if you're interested. Two other giveaways listed on the sidebar as well.


Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)


Grabbed up a copy of Marriage on Madison Avenue as soon as I finished Love on Lexington Avenue. Got a library copy of Aurora Blazing, but I might get an audio copy as well.  I was excited to get a copy of All the Best Lies as I'm loving the Ellery Hathaway series. Hoping for some movement on the romance!

Watched:




So it was a superhero weekend! I watched the end of Avengers: Infinity War (which was tragic!) in the airport lounge because it was on, and my daughter just about had a fit because I hadn't watched the other previous movies. So I've been told to ignore that and now I'm watching the ones that lead up to it and the better movie (per my daughter) Avengers: Endgame. Thor was a little cheesy but fun, Avengers and Iron Man 3 were better.  Thor: The Dark World will be next.

How was your week?


Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday Giveaway! Amanda Quick & Meg Tilly Books

I've been meaning to do this giveaway for a while, had the picture taken and everything, but I keep forgetting, lol! Life has been busy lately and I'm beat after a 5 hour flight delay yesterday, but here it is, three fun romantic suspense reads:


Cliff's Edge (Solace Island #2) by Meg Tilly-Paperback
Tightrope  (Burning Cove #3) by Amanda Quick-Hardcover
The Girl Who Knew Too Much (Burning Cove #1) by Amanda Quick-Hardcover


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review, Giveaway & Excerpt: A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe by Jessica Clare


Publication Date: October 15th 2019 by Berkley
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

‘Tis the season for starting over for one military man turned cowboy in this new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Cowboy and His Baby.

Former Navy master-at-arms Jason Clements is down on his luck and calling in one last favor. His cousin has secured him a job opportunity as a cowboy working at Price Ranch in Wyoming. Too bad Jason has never even saddled a horse. If he can keep this job without his PTSD getting in the way, it’ll be a Christmas miracle.

Local busybody Sage Cooper loves Painted Barrel something fierce, but it’s time for her to move on. Since her father passed away, the family ranch feels too big for just her, and there’s no chance of finding a husband in this small town. To the rest of the world, she’s just another local fixture, known for her closet full of ugly Christmas sweaters and being perpetually single.

It isn’t until Jason shows up in desperate need of a cowboy crash course that Sage discovers a tall, dark, and handsome reason to stick around. And with the holidays coming up, Sage is in need of a date for a special event—maybe they’ll turn out to be each other’s best Christmas present.

My Thoughts:
Jason, an ex-navy guy hasn’t had the best luck with jobs since his PTSD has him struggling with panic attacks that are even worse now that he lost his support dog. At his ends, he takes a job as a ranch hand even though he has zero experience.  Thankfully, he runs into Sage, and she offers him a trade: she’ll give him a crash course in ranching if he’ll be her date at her friend Greg’s rehearsal dinner and wedding. Sage is tired of being known as Greg’s mooning sidekick but finding a date in the small town of Painted Barrel has so far been an impossible task! Jason is tall, dark, and handsome, but more than that he’s a sweet, hard working man and Sage’s heart aches for all the struggles he’s had to endure.

Sage had such a big heart, loneliness making her a bit na├»ve in the past when it came to Greg. That guy was a complete idiot, and I’m happy Sage didn’t let him walk all over her once she got a clue.

Jason can’t believe that Sage, both beautiful and sweet, has struggled to find a date, and has been at the beck-and-call of a douchebag like Greg. Jason doesn’t feel like he deserves her either when his PTSD easily sends him into a panic, but if Sage feels he’s worthy he’s not fool enough to pass up a chance to be with her. I was so happy Jason didn’t deprive them of love because of feeling unworthy at times.  Their relationship was slow and steady at first, but boy did it build up into a wickedly hot romance!

I just loved A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe!  It was such a delightful wintery/holiday read: small town, snowy nights, ugly Christmas sweaters, homemade cookies, gift giving, ranching, and a sweet rescue dog!  Jason and Sage brought out the best in each other, providing support and inspiring confidence where lacking. Also, they brought so much passion and joy to each other I was filled with happiness that they met! 

I can’t wait for Becca’s story next!


4.5 Suns


Excerpt:

Jason chuckled, and a slow smile spread across his lean face, and oh, her heart did the craziest little flip. Despite the sweating and the weird situation, Jason Clements, newbie to Painted Barrel, was handsome. He was tall and wiry, and his cheekbones were blade sharp. His eyes were piercing, and his dark hair was cropped extremely short—naval regulation, maybe? But his smile was utterly breathtaking.
And he was smiling at her. Even though she was being goofy and weird and wearing ridiculous reindeer antlers, he was smiling at her. Sage Cooper.
Man-repellent.
It was a heady feeling. In that moment, she wanted to help him and get more of those smiles. Sage genuinely loved helping people, but she had a different goal in mind when she looked at Jason. She just wanted him to smile again.
“You really don’t know how to ranch?” she asked.
He pursed his lips and shook his head.
“Why did you lie?” It didn’t seem like a job anyone would take on the spur of the moment. There were easier jobs out there than ranching, and they probably paid a heck of a lot more.
Meaning that he had a secret. Well, that was all right. She’d always thought of herself as an open book, but things had changed over the last year. After all, weren’t her dating app profiles a secret? A humiliating, awful secret that Greg would laugh and laugh about if he knew . . . and then tell Becca? Who would then tell everyone in Painted Barrel?
Yeah, Sage knew all about keeping things secret to protect yourself.
“I won’t ask,” she told him. “But I can help you.”
Jason looked at her with a frown and then dawning realization. “You can get me some books?”
“Well, not exactly.” She hugged Order of the Phoenix tighter to her chest, as if to bolster herself. “But I do have a ranch.”
His eyes flared with interest, and the breath stole from her lungs. Oh, were his eyes gray? She liked that. She liked that a lot. “You do?”
“Everyone here does. There’s not much around Painted Barrel but ranches, you know?”
He gestured at the mail desk, where Greg’s pamphlets were spread. “But I thought you . . .”
“Municipal clerk. I know. I am.” She went to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear, flustered, and ended up smacking her reindeer horns. “My father was the mayor of this town before he passed, and he got me a job as a municipal clerk when I was a teenager. And I sort of stayed on and have done it ever since. But yeah, my father has a ranch, and now that he’s gone, it’s mine. I’ve sold all of the cattle but two, and just one horse. You can come over to my place and practice until you get comfortable, if you like.”
He stared at her, stunned. “You’d do that for me?”
She beamed at him. “Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”
Sage watched, fascinated, as his jaw clenched. “Reasons.”
 “Because most people don’t do things out of the good- ness of their hearts. Not anymore.” He rubbed his jaw again. “Can I pay you?”
Sage waved a hand, dismissing the thought. Once she sold all her father’s acreage, she’d have more money than she knew what to do with. “Don’t be silly.”
But he gave her another intense look, leaning in. His height was . . . amazing. She gazed up at him and felt as if he were the tallest—and handsomest—man she’d ever seen. Oh, her new crush was baaaad. “I’d feel better if I didn’t owe you,” he murmured.

An idea occurred to her, and she clutched the book tighter. Did she dare? Should she ask? Her mouth worked silently, and then before she could think better of it, she blurted, “I do need a date.” 

Connect with Jessica Clare:



The wonderful people at Berkley are giving away A Paperback copy of A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe to one reader.  The giveaway is open to US residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck! 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sunday Post #48


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. 



I've been on vacation this last week in Northern California and the weather has been beautiful! Clear sunny days, awesome sunsets and just peace and quiet. A much needed break from our every day schedule.  Both photos above are from Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, California. A quaint, cute town with old Victorian homes and shops. Such an amazing book store, if you ever visit Mendocino you have to go! 
I'm not looking forward to traveling home tomorrow, especially with the huge fire that broke out about 15 miles south of our home. My heart goes out to all affected. 

Read:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)


My husband and I listened to the audio and we loved Things You Saved in a Fire! It was a wonderful story of healing, forgiveness with a swoony romance! The Widow of Rose House was also really good! I thought Ice Planet Barbarians would be a lot of cheesy, erotic fun, but it was surprisingly good and addictive! I totally recommend the audio version. I've already started listening to book two.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)



I've been enjoying J.R.Ward's spinoff series to BDB, especially since you don't really have to be caught up with the original series to enjoy these ones. I'm several books behind with the main series and I don't know if I'll ever catch up. I downloaded the second Ice Planet Barbarians book after loving the first one, and I'm already hooked. 

Watched:

I haven't watched anything since we haven't been around a T.V. in the last week being on vacation.

How was your week?



Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: Christmas Past by Mary Burton


Publication Date: October 29th 2019 by Zebra
Pages: 96 for Christmas Past
400 pages with the two other novellas by Fern Michaels & Judy Duarte
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton comes a captivating tale of romantic suspense set in the heart of a rugged winter . . .

Photographer Nicole Piper moved to Virginia hoping to put a troubled past behind her and start fresh with her baby daughter. But those hopes are dashed when she receives a very unwelcome Christmas gift—from her late husband. It’s a letter that holds clues to an elusive killer’s identity. The victim had helped save Nicole’s life—and paid with her own. Nicole owes it to her to follow the letter’s trail, and perhaps put to rest the fear that stalks her once and for all. But she can’t do it alone.

When Homicide Detective David Ayden first met Nicole, he was looking for a fresh start too. Widowed and raising two teenage boys, Nicole was the only woman who’d stirred his interest—and the attraction was mutual. But that was months ago and she wasn’t ready to trust again. Maybe she still isn’t. All that matters now is that she needs his help—even if it means embarking on a road trip that will take them both into the heart of danger—and desire . . .

My Thoughts:
Christmas Past is a quick suspense read with the wintery holiday as a backdrop providing a nice little story to read by the fire.

Nicole escaped her abusive husband, now dead, and is moving on until she receives a letter promising to identify the killer of the woman who helped her escape. Nicole knows the letter will dredge up the past, and it does require she go on a goose hunt for information.  Not something she’s looking forward to, but Nicole wants the man who murdered her savior brought to justice, not only for her, but for the woman’s family so that they might have some measure of peace, especially since it’s the holiday season. Also, on the upside she won’t have to face her past alone, since Detective David Ayden is determined to see her through this journey.

Nicole and David were getting close, but Nicole put the brakes on their relationship not yet ready for romance so soon after running from her horrid husband. Spending time together while they try and hunt for the killer gives them a second chance at love. 

Christmas Past was a quick, entertaining read, one you could blaze through in an evening. I really liked David and didn’t understand some of Nicole’s reluctance, but I’ve never come out of an abusive relationship so what do I know? I liked Charlotte Wellington, the attorney, despite her taking on Nicole’s ex-husband’s task, and I worried for her welfare. She was a fighter and I liked that!

I didn’t realize Christmas Past was part of a collection of stories, three I think, with Fern Michaels and Judy Duarte authoring the other two novellas. Christmas Past was the only story I received for review, and I’ve never read anything by the other two authors.

3 Suns