Duke with Benefits By Manda Collins- ARC Review. Plus an exclusive excerpt!

 

I want to start this review off with a disclaimer.  I read and reviewed the first book in this series.  Ready Set Rogue and I loved it, in the first book we meet the four Bluestocking Heiress who inherit a house filled to the brim with not only Mystery but with anything and everything a Bluestocking could want. Now, in the first book we were introduced to the ladies and even though she was a secondary character   at the time I became a huge fan of Lady Daphne.  So, when I saw the next book was   her story I pre-ordered  it  without a  second  thought.. I went into this book with high expectations and already loving the characters.  I was not disappointed and  I don’t think you  will be  either.

 

Lady Daphne   Forsyth is a mathematical genius and  one of four bluestocking heiresses who inherited Beauchamp house from Lady Celeste Beauchamp.  But along with house filled everything that would appeal to a bluestocking’s heart Lady Celeste also left Daphne   a mystery the   Cameron Cipher which leads to an unimageable pile of treasure. Not only does she have her fellow Bluestockings to help her but she has Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland nephew to the late Lady Celeste.

Daphne and Dalton are attracted to each other which is very clear and Daphne being Daphne   just tells him out right  she wants to sleep with him which I can’t blame her.  Daphne is known for basically not having a filter so she tells the Duke outright “you like me, I like you let’s bang” okay she didn’t say that exactly but still,  naturally  he’s shocked and   goes on to say he won’t bed her unless they marry. But my girl Daphne is not having   it she sees no reason why they need to marry.  At that I   was like freak in couch jumping Tom Cruise because let’s face it not every heroine wants to be married so she can bang a hot duke.  But he refuses and Daphne and I were both like “why?”

The Duke is not only a very honorable man  so  he  goes and  drops  the  “do you know how many other girls would want to be a Duchess” **raises hand**  because the man  has  point…  and I want to be  a  duchess,  can you say life goals?  Besides that   little bit of   conceded  show  The  Duke has a heart of  gold  that is  enough to  melt  the panties off  any girl,  example? when he was boy he wanted to be a stable hand but now that he had come into his title he has expanded the stables to include…. are you ready?  A place for aging horses and horses bound for the slaughter house to live out the rest of their days.  Oh, My God he is just too perfect!

I loved the how the book revolved around code breaking and explained how Daphne   could break a cipher, she had done a series of them years ago for a newspaper contest.  While we started to see the bond between the heiress in the first book this book highlighted their friendship even more and if  you love when your heroines bond with others then you are going to love this book because what better way to bond then over solving a mystery for hidden treasure and a murder…. Oh, did I forget to mention that   people   get murdered?!  Well now, how could   any good mystery not involve a murder… or two.

Topes you might like   Fake fiancé, smart fearless  heroines, female friendships.  This book would fall under the Romance/ Mystery category.  Also, this book isn’t overly sex filled so for those looking for more chemistry/banter and adventure   this book is for you.

One last thing   in the first book you could see the beginnings of   the bond between the heiress forming but now in this second book you can see it more clearly. I know that female friendships are something that some readers look for, and this book has it and the best part? These women are bonding over more than just dresses and men!

While you have probably guessed, I loved this book and loved it hard.   It’s priced at $7.99 and   it is well worth the price.   I am so excited to see what the author has in store for the remaining heiresses!

 

 

Below  you  will  find  an  exclusive  excerpt  graciously  provided  by  the  Author and  Publisher! 

 

“There you are, my dear,” said the Earl of Forsyth with a beaming smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.

Maitland saw at once that Daphne favored him. Her green eyes were the same shade as his, though there were lines of dissipation bracketing the earl’s. And though his expertly cropped blond hair was shot through with silver, what remained of its original color was the same shade as hers. But whereas Daphne’s gaze was focused off to the left of whomever she conversed with, like a bird hovering just over a branch, Forsyth’s speared one with cold calculation. As he did to Daphne now.

“You are looking well, Daphne,” the earl continued, stepping forward to embrace his daughter, who looked as uncomfortable with the contact as Maitland had ever seen her. “The sea air agrees with you. As I knew it would.”

“The sea is very beautiful,” Daphne replied woodenly. “Why are you here, Father?”

“Is that any way to greet your Papa?” the earl chided, stepping back from her and wandering farther into the room, standing to stare out at the gardens below through the window. “I’ve traveled all the way from London to see you. And this lovely estate. I must admit that when I first learned of your inheritance, I thought it was all some sort of trick. But you would have your own way and leave the loving bosom of your family no matter what I said. Now that I’m here, though, and see it in person, I must admit that it’s a lovely spot. And your chaperone, Lady Serena, is quite beautiful, isn’t she? A widow, I take it?”

His jaw clenched at the man’s mention of Serena, and Maitland thought perhaps it was time to announce himself. Daphne seemed not to realize he’d followed her in, and the earl was too busy waxing rhapsodic over the beauties of Beauchamp House.

“I don’t believe we’ve met, Forsyth,” he said forcefully, stepping up to stand side by side with Daphne. He gave a slight bow, perhaps not quite as deep as was warranted, but not caring. “The Duke of Maitland. I am a friend of your daughter’s, you might say.”

What he meant by that last, he could not say, but the man made every bit of protective instinct within him go on the alert. He was her father, but all the same Maitland knew that Daphne was no safer with him than she would have been with Sommersby if he still lived.

At the sound of the duke’s voice, Lord Forsyth turned with almost comical haste from the window and stared. For the barest flicker, he looked angry. Well, if he were upset at the knowledge that his daughter was not without friends, then he would simply have to swallow it. Because Maitland was damned if he’d leave her alone with the fellow.

“Duke,” Lord Forsyth said with a tilt of his head, “I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I was a friend of your father’s, and had little notion I’d be meeting you here. He was a good man, your father.”

His father had been nothing of the sort, but Maitland was hardly going to discuss it with Forsyth.

“I am here visiting my sister, Lady Serena,” Maitland said coolly, letting the other man know in tone rather than words that he had not appreciated the older man’s speculative words about her earlier. “And of course my cousin, Kerr. He only recently married another of the heiresses here, and resides here with her.”

Forsyth’s eyes narrowed at the implication that Daphne was well protected should her father wish to cause trouble. At least that was the message Maitland was endeavoring to send. And by the looks of it, Forsyth read him loud and clear.

“Capital, capital,” the earl said with false cheer. “A merry party you must all make here. I had no idea you were in such fine company here, Daphne. No notion at all.”

“Because we have not spoken since I left,” Daphne said, looking from her father to Maitland then back again, as if wondering what went on between them. “And now, father, I really must ask you to leave. I have a great deal of work to do and . . .”

“Don’t be absurd, Daphne,” her father said with a shake of his head. “I only just arrived. And there is something very important I must speak to you about.” He turned to Maitland with a raised brow. “I’m sure you’ll excuse us, Duke. I’m afraid what I need to tell my daughter is private family business.”

Maitland was opening his mouth to tell the man he would leave Daphne alone with him when hell froze over, when Daphne did it for him.

“Maitland stays,” she said, reaching out to grasp him by the arm. It was as much of a cry for help as he’d ever thought he’d see from her. Wordlessly, he slipped her arm into his, as if they were about to promenade round the room. He covered her hand with his, keenly aware of the thread of tension in her.

Once more, the earl’s eyes narrowed, and he turned an assessing gaze on Maitland, perhaps realizing for the first time the threat coming at him from that direction.

His jaw clenched, Forsyth said grimly, “Very well. If you wish your friend to witness our dirty linen, so be it.” As if needing to be in motion in order to speak, the earl began to pace the area between the window and the fireplace. “You know, Daphne, you left me without any obvious means of recouping what I lost from years of paying that tutor of yours, old man Sommersby.”

“You agreed to pay him,” Daphne said tightly. “After I threatened to expose . . .”

Hastily, Forsyth continued, “And I am currently in need of funds. As such, I must insist you return to London with me for the time being and meet a particular gentleman who has expressed interest in marrying you. Though his birth is not as high as yours, he’s quite wealthy and will make you a good husband, I trust. He’s assured me he has no concern about your odd ways, if you’re as beautiful as your portrait.”

Before Maitland could burst out with the string of invectives the other man’s pronouncement inspired in him, Daphne said, “I cannot marry this person. I’ve never even met him. You promised me that I would not have to marry someone for money as long as I won enough at the tables. I did so. You promised me, father.”

“I never actually promised, Daphne.” Forsyth said with a shake of his head. “If you chose to interpret it as such, that is not my fault. Now, go pack your things.”

Daphne’s hand on Maitland’s arm gripped him tightly. And before he even knew what he was doing, he said, “I’m afraid that’s impossible, Forsyth. Daphne is staying here.”

“I don’t know who you think you are, Maitland,” said the earl through clenched teeth, “but I am her father, and I am well within my rights to take her back to London. Now, kindly take your hands off of her and let her go pack.”

“It might once have been your right, Forsyth,” Maitland said coldly, “but Lady Daphne is my betrothed now and as such, she will remain here. With me.”

Copyright © 2017 by Manda Collins and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

When to Engage an Earl- ARC review

I  was  given When to  engage  an Earl  by  Sally  Mckenize  by  the  publisher.  Special  thanks  to Kensington Books  for  the chance  to  review  this  title!

This book is about babies.  Holy mother of god I have never so many baby crazy people in my life.  Someone was either   having a baby, had a baby or wanted one.    Just why?  Yes, I understand   this happens but I like my romance without babies. More importantly  baby  crazy  characters.

Before you all jump on me   for hating babies.  I don’t…technically. I don’t mind    them in my romance sometimes they can even be entertaining or even charming   but babies are not the center of the universe and sadly they are   in this book.

The   hero Alex Earl of Evans   feels his biological clock ticking. Now let’s face it we all know   men of title and fortune in romancelandia   he needs to marry to produce an heir and a spare at some point.  However, this hero   had the baby bug so bad that is was ridiculous   I feel like the heroine was basically forced   to say   that she wanted   marriage and babies because everyone else was telling her   that it was   what she should want.  Jane   started  to  come off  as  strong  independent  character  until  everyone   was  all  like “  he loves  you”  “everyone  wants  to marry at  some point”   Spoiler!  No.  Not everyone  wants  to marry  or have  children. Lord Evans also disliked the  fact  that Jane was not a “restful sort of   female” in other words he was looking to marry a damsel in distress  type that he could   rule over and protect.  In  the beginning  he  was  very  big on  protecting and being manly

Then when they finally do have sex and Jane refuses to   marry him, he treats her like a prostitute and    throws money at her for her “services”.  He was an asshole. It  was  hard  to  connect either of these characters  because between the baby bug being repeated and enforced and  one character giving birth   what  should have been the main  focus of  the book  became  lost  at times turning this into a rage read for me.  Which  was  sad because  the book  held  so much  promise.

I will admit there was one likeable   thing about this book Poppy the cat, which as you can see on the cover is   watching over this hot mess. She is featured on all three book covers watching over the other couples who appear in this book  with their babies or babies in waiting, oh yes, more babies There is supernatural undertone  with Poppy that author alludes to but  never confirms. That sadly is   the end of my praise for this book.

 

So, here’s the deal if you like babies, heroes who want   babies more than   I  want  coffee  then this book is for you.  Because everyone in this book has them, wants them, or going to give birth to them at any second.  Then this book is for you.  If you are like me and not baby crazy in anyway shape or form then this might not be for you.

The book is priced at $4.99

The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter – ARC Review.

I  was given a  copy t  The most  Dangerous  Duke  in London  By  Madeline Hunter  for  a  fair and  honest  review.

 

The Most Dangerous Duke in London is the first book in a new series by Madeline Hunter.  This is the first book I’ve read by her and I enjoyed it.

Adam Penrose who is the Duke of Stratton is known to be dangerous because he’s rumored to be a killer. He is back in London after leaving    for France with his mother after his father’s death. A death he blames Lady Clara Cheswick’s family for.  However, the Dowager Countess of Marwood who is the mother of the man Adam believes   killed his father wants to put   stop to Adam trying to kill her grandson or figuring out if the family was connected to the late Duke’s death.  So, she summons him to her home and throws her granddaughter at him because what better way to end a   feud than by joining two families in marriage?  Unfortunately, Adam is more interested in Clara than her sister and starts to pursue her.  The chemistry  between these  two  was just hot  from the start.

“Do not blame me for the delay in knowing my mind on the matter. There I was, making my decision about a lovely dove, when a black crow flew by and distracted me.”

Crow? Why, the—

“Then the crow flapped her wings in my face and turned her tail to fly away.” He walked over until he loomed above her. “I never stand down from a challenge, Lady Clara.”

Clara publishes a lady’s journal, thanks to being   her father’s favorite she has her own land and her own money, best of all she knows her own mind.  She was such a strong female character and just fun to read.  She  was a wonderful  character  who  had no  problems  with  showing and  demanding her  independence without  apology.

While Adam was wicked and very sexy.  During his first encounter, he threatened to use a riding crop on Clara. Which I was all there for that  even though  he  never  followed through. He was great hero   and at times a cheeky bastard which I loved him for.

This book was well written though slightly slow at times but otherwise very well done and worth the read.  I can’t  wait  to see what she has in store for the other Dukes..

So, if you love male friendships, a sexy duke, strong heroines who are all for having an affair with the sexy duke, and a good mystery.  Then this book has it.

It’s priced at $5.99

Six Impossible Things By Elizabeth Boyle

 

I was so excited to finally read Six Impossible Things by Elizabeth Boyle.  She is one of my automatic buy authors.  While I admit, I am not a fan of spy novels I still went for because of her.  I was shockingly surprised at how much I loved it, Roselie is a badass heroine who takes crap from no one including the hero!   Roselie who uses the code name Asteria   is the only   female agent for the home office though technically she isn’t, because she’s a woman. However, she’s better than any and every  male  agent the home office has, and she’s driving all them all crazy and not just because they want to find out who she is.  However, Brody, Lord Rimswell is the only agent she wants to catch her, oh and he does and that my dear friends  is just everything. Because our hero is the only agent to almost catch Asteria  not once  but  twice  and  the effort he makes to hold on  to her is steamy  to the  point  I  was  fanning myself!

When things end up leading to a hasty marriage between Roselie and Brody, no thanks to chatty busy body.  The conflict between them because of her wanting to stay an agent  becomes  intense, Roselie won’t back down or even give in a little even when it might her life is at stake, so naturally being the sexy hero that he is Brody decides to help her. Which even entails a “honeymoon” visiting insane asylums Because she is convinced that a supposedly dead Duchess is   locked away in one. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth the more someone wants to stop them which brings in the fight scenes and dear god Roselie can fight, even when she ends up cut up and bruised afterwards she plays it totally cool. Now you all know I am normally team hero but in this book as much as I liked Brody I am   all team heroine, also I might want to   go work the home office…. just saying.

Before I move on to tropes you might like with this book, I want to talk about Brody’s mother. She is a nasty old dragon who loathes Roselie and yet for some reason I kind of liked her.  There was a moment of bonding when Brody wanted to send both his mother and Roselie away for their safety but when her mother-in-law found out she was like “I have to go on this trip with you?!  Fuck me” and Roselie being the badass she is   replied “you can leave you want, I’m staying” okay it didn’t really happen that way but you get the idea and that is basically what his mother was thinking when she found out I am certain of that. But the point is his mother seemed shocked   because she had never defied her   husband the way Roselie was defying  Brody and this in turn made her   follow suit and defy her son. Kind of like “Well, if you aren’t going neither am I” But I will say this even with her bout of nastiness and being a terrible mother (  she  didn’t even know  what he liked for  breakfast), when the time came she   was on Brody and Roselie’s side.

Now on to Tropes you might like, badass take no shit heroines, spies both male and female kind, Friends to lovers.  Cheeky secondary  characters. Okay that  last one  might not be a  trope  but  seriously!  Hero and  the  Hathaway brothers!

This book was action packed from start to finish, it was fun and sexy with a shocking mystery that will leave you saying oh my god or if you’re like me holy shit. The HEA was simply perfect it was the kind that will if you’re anything like me  will leave you with a happy feeling that I think all romance novels should.

This book is listed at   $4.99 which is a great price and well worth the read.

 

One last thing the Hathaway brothers need their own novel.  This all I am saying about that but once you read the book, dear lord you will be saying the same, that these charming rogues need a story of their own…. Of course, now that I think on it the author did seem to be dropping some hints…

 

 

Unmasking the Earl By Elizabeth Keysain- ARC review

I  was give a  copy of  Unmasking  the  Earl  by  Elizabeth Keysain    for a  fair and honest  review.  This is  the  second  book in the  Wayward in  Wessex  series  and  can be  read as a  stand  alone.

 

Cassandra Blythe will do anything to win the heart of the man she loves.  Unfortunately, for her the man she loves only thinks of her as more of a sister type. So, what better way to attract a man’s attention than take seduction lessons from another man, Captain Wycherly offers to help her.  But what Cassie doesn’t count on is his   servant   always interfering in the lessons. However, Ned is no ordinary   servant   he’s really the Earl of Stranraer who is posing as servant while searching for his missing sister, which he suspects the captain has something with to do with her disappearance.

Now don’t get me wrong I am all for “let me teach you seduction then switch it around” trope but this was not it. In fact, the heroine was at completely and utterly stupid, she should have never been left alone…. EVER. She   convinced she could handle the captain   and his lessons on her own, and then was shocked when he kissed her.  Really?  What did she think seduction lessons entailed?    Then when she discovers   the hero is really a gentleman in disguise she first starts to realize this by the way he wipes his mouth… I have no words.

Ned was a great hero, he was strong and smart even if he fades slightly into the back because of Cassie’s scheme.   I would have liked to see more of him flirting and being the alpha that he most certainly was.

While the premise was good   the book was slightly silly and predictable. Only toward the end did the heroine show some common sense which surprised me.   Even though I found the heroine very frustrating    for most of the book, the   writing was excellent.

If you like mistaken identities, hidden identities, a bit of a mystery and a very sexy hero this book is for you.

It’s priced at   $3.99 and won’t break your book budget.

 

 

The Seduction of Viscount Vice- ARC Review

I  was  given a  copy of this  book  by the  publisher for  a  fair and honest  review.

Summary-  Proud Scot and Fallen co-owner, Lord Iain ‘Vice’ Vissen is dedicated to performing in and producing the pleasure club’s hedonistic shows. Until the night he apprehends a rogue footman in their midst and discovers the spy is Lady Mairi MacNair—the woman who long ago broke his heart.

Born an earl’s daughter but now a seamstress, Mairi has returned to London to help open a superior pleasure club to Fallen, and finally realize her dream of being the seductive leading lady. But when she discovers her main rival is Iain, the man she loved beyond reason and was forced to abandon, she is soon caught in a web of lies, secrets, and raw, scorching passion that time hasn’t dimmed…

  Review-    I had  read and  reviewed the  first  two  books  in the  Fallen  series.  All  three  books can be  read  as a  stand alone and  in any order.  So  I  was super  excited to  get a  copy of this book.

This  book  picks up where  the last one  left  off in  that  they are in  middle of  a midsummers  eve  party  So  if  you  read  The  Devil’s  Submission  (which  omg  you  need to ….go  get it   now, I’ll wait.)  it’s  right  around  that  time frame. This  book about  Vice  who  is  the master and  star of  all  the productions  at  Fallen, in other words  he loves  to  fuck on stage  and  be watched, he  certainly  had my attention.  Some  years  ago  Viscount  Vissen  or  Vice  fell  in love  with  Lady Mairi MacNair  who is  the  daughter  of  an  Earl,  he  was love  while  Mairi  just  wanted  an  out from her  engagement to some other  lord and  used  Vice  to  ruin her  which  didn’t  go  as  planned  so  she  ran off  to Paris.

Years  later  she’s  returned  and  is  spying on  Fallen  only to be  caught  By  Vice  and this  when  things   heat  up.  I  will say  this  anytime  the  heroine   threatens  or  latterly  smacks  some  sense  into the hero   I  am   all  for it.  Lady  Mairi   kneed  him in  the  balls….  Now  you might  think  that is  brutal, and  yes  it  is  but  I  kind of  love   when something like  that   happens between  the hero and heroine.  The  friendship  in this  book is   just amazing,  you have  female  friendship, Grace and  Eliza   meet  Mairi  while they  out  shopping  and  are instantly like “you’re one of us now, so you are coming to dinner”  and  the  male  friendship/brother like  bond  between  Sin, Devil  and  Vice  is  just wonderful  I loved it  so much  and  I can   picture them  years from  now as  old men  sitting around  gossiping.  So  if  this  is  your thing  then  this  book has  it.

I really  wish  this  book had more  sex  in  it,  there I  said it.  The sex they  had  in front of  the  window…. Oh yes you  read  that  right.  It  was  hella  hot and  sexy  and I need more.  Over  all this  book  was  good and I gave it  5  stars on  goodread.  I  was  however  slightly  disappointed  because  I  wanted a little more,  so  I went  back and looked up  the  lengths  of  each  book

Surrender  to  Sin was  107 pgs long- admittedly not  my  favorite  book in the series  but  I liked it

The  Devil’s  submission   was only  83 pgs  long.  How  could  this  be???  This  book was  everything!

The Seduction of  Viscount  Vice  is  also  107 pgs.   As well.

This  is  what  happens  when a  book  or  novella  is  good, I  mean  really good   it  can  never be long enough.  Because you  never  want  it  to end.

This book   is  $1.99   which is  perfect  price   if  you  are  just  jumping  in to  the series and   don’t  want  to  break  your  book  budget,  But  trust me  you  will  end  up wanting to read  the  entire  series.

 

 

 Congratulations  to Lisa  Brown  for   winning a  copy of  Valerie Bowman’s   Never Trust A Pirate!

What is considered Romance?

I  recently  heard someone   on a  podcast  say  that   Erotic   romance   is not  considered  romance?  What?  Is this  true?   Am I the only  who  feels  that  they are?  I mean  yes  they  filled  with  sex,  sometimes hot  nasty  sex. But  some  are  very  well  written and have  great  stories to them.  I  when I  heard  this  I was slightly  shocked,  what  else  isn’t  considered   romance?  Have  I missed something?  Because  I have  read   a lot of   Erotic  romances and  while  yes  there have been  lots of  sex  in them,  there have  also  been  great  stories to them.  It  got me  thinking   I mean  when someone  is looking for  a  romance  novel   the  first  question  we  all ask  is  “tell me what you  like”  because  you can be  sure    that in our   community  we can  find   it  for you, or  we know someone who  can  find it  for you.  But   what  classifies  as  a romance?  RWA  defines   Erotic  romance as  a  subgenre.    This  how  they define  it.

Erotic Romance: Romance novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).

 

True  there are short  novellas  that  just  kinky  and  sex filled  from  start to finish  with not  much  of a  story,  but  we can  find  that in most in  novellas  because  they  supposed  be  short  quick  stories  that  lack  something and leave  you  wanting more. I have never  read  a novella   that I  didn’t  turn  around and  complain  about it  being  too short.   But  to  not  consider  Erotic  Romance, romance??    What  about   Erotic  historical?  Or  Contemporary?   Should  we not  consider  these   to be  Romance, even when  they achieve  their  HEA.

So  that is  the  Question of  the  week   What  do  you  consider  Romance?  More  importantly  what  do  Not  consider  Romance.