Sunday, May 22, 2022

HOW TO SURVIVE A SCANDAL by Samara Parish

 

Publisher: Forever
Date Published: May 25, 2021  
ISBN#  
  ‎ 978-1538704486
Historical Romance
Reviewed by Gina (myreviewbooks@aol.com)
Obtained via publisher
5 Hearts


Lady Amelia has never doubted her place in society. Raised to be the epitome of the most accomplished wife of a Duke from childhood she is beyond dismayed when she finds herself half naked in an unfamiliar house after being rescued from certain death in a snow storm. At first glance her rescuer is an over large behemoth of a man with no class or culture. Making matters worse, her finance as well as the county’s number one gossip are present when she wakes. It is quickly decided the only way to save her reputation is to marry her rescuer. The solution is not acceptable to her. After all, she did nothing wrong!

 

Benedict Asterly didn’t give it a second thought when he came upon the carriage seemingly abandoned in the snow only to find a woman inside who appeared near death.  At a minimum he would have been happy with a thank you. What he gets instead is a arrange by the woman who soon becomes his wife. Oh he doesn’t want to marry Amelia. She’s one of the last people who he wants anything to do with, but he is the kind of man who will do the right thing. In short order Amelia and Benedict find themselves in a marriage neither ever wanted. Can two people so ill-suited to each other find common ground?

HOW TO SURVIVE A SCANDAL is probably the best read I’ve had yet this year. Samara Parish has the kind of voice that immediately draws you into the story and then you find you just can’t put it down until you’ve read the last page. I’ve read a few Regencies lately and Parish reminds me once again why I love stories from this era. She brings to life the constraints women had to live with and how, if so inclined, they managed to work around them.  When we first meet Amelia she is totally a woman of her time. Parish then develops her into someone you would like to have has your neighbor and friend. There isn’t a sudden transformation, but one that shows a woman coming into her own and while in the process of becoming true to herself, becomes a truly marvelous person.

Benedict is your basic nice guy – with his own set of prejudices. It’s those prejudices that keep him from seeing the changes he himself brings about in Amelia. He seems determined to break her and she continues, time after time, to show him her true self. Give his size one assumes he has no vulnerabilities, but he does and Parish brings those out for her readers in a way you just fall in love with him.

I loved this story and cannot wait to read book 2 in this series, HOW TO DECEIVE A DUKE.

 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

                                                                           

Sunday, May 15, 2022

MY DRAGON, MY DOM by Dulce Dennison

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Date Published: December 2019
ISBN: 009178-02971
Holiday, BDSM, Paranormal, M/M
eBook
Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)

Weblink: https://www.changelingpress.com/my-dragon-my-dom-b-2971
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 3 Hearts


Josh comes to a new police force and a new partner with an open mind. This is new for Corbin; it seems that for him partners are hard to keep. Being a gay man has made him lose many a partner. So, Corbin does not have high hopes for Josh sticking around but he is soon surprised to find that the human could be his mate. Now Corbin must figure out a way to convince Josh to give their partnership a chance and maybe even something more. Can Corbin and Josh find the happiness that they each long for or will their chance slip away from them before they even get to grasp for it?

Corbin and Josh have an interesting tale. The sparks ignite between the two right from the start. As the men begin to figure out if they can work together circumstances and emotions come into play. Each man has a strong personality and yet they seem to fit perfectly together. Circumstances bring their personal relationship moving faster than the men wanted but it only shows the depth of their connection. The Christmas holiday brings the two even closer, and the sparks quickly turn into a fire. Their story moves along at a quick and hot pace. While their story is an interesting one, I did not connect with these men. I felt the story has a lot of telling of emotions, but I did not feel them. I enjoyed the plot of this story, but I was not invested in the characters enough to get lost in their story.

 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.
 

 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

SAY YOU’LL BE MY LADY by Kate Pembroke

Publisher: Forever
Date Published: February 22, 2022 
ISBN#  
 ‎ 978-1538703779
Historical Romance
Reviewed by Gina (myreviewbooks@aol.com)
Obtained via publisher
3 Hearts


Intelligent and beautiful Serena Wynter doesn’t necessarily follow society’s dictates. In fact, she seldom does at all.  It was Serena who led the Lady’s Wednesday Afternoon Social Circle to establish homes for war widows. Now she is turning her attention to children left orphans due to the war. With her connections she is able to find buildings and the money to set up the homes. Having loved deeply once only to have her fiancĂ© die in war, marriage is not something she is keen on pursuing.

Charles Townshend has a secret. One he has not divulged to anyone and it’s not that he is in love with Serena. Rather it is one that society mandates keep them apart. He supports her endeavors and does what he can to help her and her lady friends. On a trip outside London in search of assistance for one of her projects they come upon a young boy, Jem, apparently abandoned in a vacant property. Serena quickly decides to take Jem in and find him a suitable home.  Jem, in turn, forms an attachment to Charles which brings the couple together more frequently and in more social settings than before. While their feelings for each other grow, society’s dictates say they cannot be. But when did society’s rules ever mean anything to Serena?

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, NOT THE KIND OF EARL YOU MARRY. I hadn’t read a Regency in a long time and it was exactly what I wanted and needed in a good read so I looked forward to this second book, SAY YOU’LL BE MY LADY.  I’ve found in many series that when the first book is a solid read usually books two or three fall down. They just aren’t as good. It’s like an author is his or her own tough act to follow.  SAY YOU’LL BE MY LADY was one of those slow moving, pretty boring, reads.  It just didn’t do it or me. There was a lot of narrative about going here and there and the dialogue was stilted. It felt like Pembrooke had to give Serena a story but just couldn’t figure out what to do with it. The character seemed like an entirely different one from the one in NOT THE KIND OF EARL YOU MARRY.

I did like how Pembrooke tackled the issues of the time like abandoned children, child labor issues and society’s constraints at trying to help those less fortunate. My favorite part was the trip Charles, Jem, Serena and her father make to the observatory. It seemed an idyllic outing that anyone would enjoy. But, overall, it wasn’t a stellar read.

 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

                                                                           

Sunday, May 1, 2022

MOLTEN By Pelaam

Publisher: Pride Publishing
Date Published: July 21,2020
ISBN: 978-1-83943-059-6
BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Gay
eBook
Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)

Weblink: https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=71064
Obtained via publisher

Rating: 3 Hearts


Steve and Jeff are a happily married couple that have a good life. When someone threatens that life Steve is more than ready to put a stop to the man and defend his husband and their love. Jeff is no push over himself but is more than happy to let Steve take the lead in their sex life. When the men and their love are pushed Steve knows just how to show Jeff that the love the two have is strong and can only deepen. A fun and sexy day will bring the men closer and show Jeff how much Steve cares for him.
This is a nice look into a strong couple. Steve and Jeff are happily married and in love. The men are comfortable in their roles and have a fun and exciting love life. Readers are given a glimpse into both their sex lives and their personal lives. Nothing and nobody is going to separate these men.

 

I enjoyed getting to see both parts of their lives. As we get to go along for their adventure, we see that the men are hot together as well as the depth of their love and caring. It was nice to see how they both lean on and support each other as well as have fun. Their story is a quick read but there is a good amount of emotions and a well written plot. The author does a good job of pulling you in and gives you a story that flows and keeps you engaged all the way to the end.

 


This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

IF YOU REALLY GO DEMON by Sean Michael

Publisher: Changeling Press
Date Published: 2020
ISBN: 08256-02666
BDSM, Paranormal, Dark fantasy, Romance, M/M
eBook
Reviewed by Gabriele(meingee@yahoo.com)

Weblink: https://www.changelingpress.com/if-you-really-go-demon-once-you-go-demon-2-b-2666
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4 Hearts


When Griff cannot take the way things are anymore he goes to his best friend Savilry. The two demons are strong and dominant, but Griff hides his true self. Going to Savilry is Giff’s last hope. Griff wonders if taking this chance will be his downfall or his saving grace. Can he trust the other demon, or will he lose his best friend? Savilry has a secret of his own though and he has a few surprises in store for Griff. Will the two see their friendship grow or is it lost forever?


I really enjoyed Savilry and Griff’s adventure, their story has just begun. The two demons each have strong personalities and wants. When the truth comes out the sparks fly. Their story is a hot and kinky read. They have a good friendship and a deep connection to each other. It was nice to see the two come to terms with everything and discover something that can lead to so much more for them. Their story may be a quick one but it packs a punch. Savilry and Giff made an impression on this reader, and I was pulled into their story right from the start. Emotions take center stage in this book. I loved seeing how these two connected and the feelings that they show for one another. The two find out that you never know what could be unless you face your fears and speak up. Savilry and Griff’s story was an engaging read and has me longing for more from this world.


This is an objective review ad not an endorsement of this book

Sunday, April 17, 2022

LAST DAY WITH A COWBOY by Sara Richardson

Publisher: Forever
Date Published: December 28, 2021
ISBN#  978-1538717202
Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by Gina (myreviewbooks@aol.com)
Obtained via publisher
3 Hearts


When their father, Charlie, died, each of the Harding kids reacted in a different way. Wes felt like it was his fault and went on the road as a rodeo clown running from bulls which in a way was the story of his life – running.  Jane pretty much continued on at the family ranch.  And August, he moved to Napa, California and left anything related to ranching behind and became a wine maker. More than leaving ranching, he left the one person who would ever hold his heart—Leila Valentino. High school sweethearts everyone was sure Leila and August would marry. They were sure he’d get over his father’s death, come home and their life would go on. But it didn’t. August rarely returned home and never again spoke to the girl who held his heart. Until now. When his boss has sent him home to Silverado Lake to set the Valentino winery straight.

 

Valentino Bellas has been in the Valentino family for generations. It is Leila’s grandparents’ legacy, but it hasn’t been doing well. In desperation she signed a deal with Forrest, August’s boss, to get the winery back in the black. But she did it on her own and never told her grandparents. When August arrives to help things along old memories and emotions, good and bad, surface. To keep things hidden from her grandparents, Leila announces she and August are engaged and ready to marry. August agrees to the deception – after all, how hard can it be to pretend to be in love with the one you never stopped loving?

 

I’ve always been a fan of western romance. I grew up in the heyday of westerns on television and the attraction of a hot cowboy never stopped so of course I’ve been drawn to Sara Richardson’s Silverado Lake series. I sat down and read the first two books in this series, First Kiss With a Cowboy and One Night With a Cowboy in one day. I just couldn’t put them down.  Her latest in the series, LAST DANCE WITH A COWBOY took me a little longer. I was eager to read it not just because of a cowboy hero, but because at the start of the story he lives and works in Napa, just a few miles from where I live. The story just didn’t grab me.

 

First of all, it’s not much of a western. Yeah, Leila and August go for a horseback ride, but mostly it takes place at the Valentino winery. That part was fine—it is a contemporary romance, but most of the romance is them remembering how they were back in high school.  There was one scene with Forrest and August that I thought would have been great for a murder mystery, but that wouldn’t have been the kind of romance Richardson writes and why I read her.

 

After the intensity between Jane and Toby in FIRST KISS WITH A COWBOY and then Wes and Thea in ONE NIGHT WITH A COWBOY, I expected more from August and Leila, but it just wasn’t there. I liked the characters well enough, but it just wasn’t there for me. That’s something I’ve found with most series – usually book 2 or 3 falls down, it just doesn’t measure up. If a series goes on it usually picks up again so maybe there is a fourth book in there. 

 

What I did relate to is how we never really get over our first loves, especially our high school sweethearts. They set the standard for every man that comes after.  There is just something special about them and if we find them again in later life it is a second chance to do it right.

 

 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.