The Ugly Duchess

The Ugly DuchessTheodora Saxby was not known for her beauty but was going to make something of her life. Then her life changes when her best friend asks her to marry and she soon finds out it was all a lie. Theo will resolve in creating a new life without a husband, one that is orderly but it will all come crashing away when he comes back.

James Ryburn was young and stupid to listen to his father. He ruined his friendship with his best friend and was cast out of his own house. James will lead a new life for seven years only to come back to the one he once lived knowing that there was no way he would abandon his wife ever again.

The Ugly Duchess is the fourth book to the Happily Ever After series by Eloisa James. I have to say this book was okay and it took me a while to get into it. Reading the summary I knew that there would be a downfall for James and Theo and it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. There will be a second part to the book which will propel us forward through the years looking in on what was happening to the characters as they lived separate lives. This second part took me a while as it was seven years to get through. I don’t love the characters at this point as I feel they are not themselves as they are not whole anymore. Reading this part I knew it was necessary for this to happen as they both needed to grow up as they were both too young. I hoped there would be a happy ending but it was starting to look bleak. I did like when they encountered once again as there was more feeling again to the book. Eloisa James will have a happy ending once harmony is back.

Out of this series The Ugly Duchess was not my favorite but as the next book to the series comes out I will try it.

The Duke Is Mine

The Duke is MineMiss Olivia Lytton has been born to be a duchess according to her parents. Now the day is upon her as she is betrothed to one but he is not the brightest one of his peers.  Olivia will do her duty but will be tempted by another duke altogether who is meant for her sister.

Duke of Sconce, Tarquin Duke has loved once and it left him devastated but his mother has told him its time to marry again. She will bring two woman in and perform her test but it is the sister who is already betrothed that will steal his heart.

The third book, The Duke Is Mine, of the Happily Ever After series was not what I expected. At first I had thought to want to dislike Olivia as she was going to steal away her sisters would be intended. Then you get to know Olivia and what she had gone through with her family. I instantly started to like her. I loved her quick wit and wanton attitude even though she didn’t know she was doing it at times. Now Quin I wanted to not like either for a moment as he was willing to just take what he wanted but once again you got to know the character you like them better as Eloisa James writes about their struggles in the past. I still didn’t like that they were doing something hurtful to those who would be injured by this but James does have a way of making things go alright. I did like the mother of Quin even though she was ill tempered at times. She did her part with the fairy tale of The Princess and the Pea with her test she conducted. At the end James will give a sweet ending for all the characters.

When Beauty Tamed the Beast

When Beauty Tamed the BeastMiss Linnet Berry Thrynne is in the middle of a scandal that is not her fault or even true. Her family’s plan is to wed her to an Earl who can’t have children. Linnet will go to Piers and immediately know why he is called a beast but Linnet wants the challenge.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant detest all things about his father and that would include his fathers choice in brides, but with one look at Linnet he feels a lust pulling him. Piers though has no time for woman or a wife and will do his best to push her away from his castle.

Going forward with the second book of Eloisa James’s Happily Ever After series I found myself loving When Beauty Tamed the Beast. With a title like this it is obviously from Beauty and the Beast and I thought James does a good job keeping those key elements into her story. Now Piers is not really a beast and Linnet does not burst into song like in the Disney version but she is a great beauty and Piers has a fierce temper. I liked that she put these two characters at odds throughout most of the story even as they were passionate with each other. It was never dull with their banter back and forth. I was happy to read as well that Linnet was not a wallflower and had a backbone when dealing with Piers. Now when it came to happy endings James throws in wrench and puts the breaks on for these two characters. She gives Linnet and Piers a new challenge which to overcome and once that happens happiness is in store for them.

The Duke is Mine is the next installment of the Happily Ever After series.

Kiss At Midnight

Miss Kate Daltry is on a mission to become her stepsister and meet the prince who would become family. Kate knew it would not work but would do it for Victoria. Kate will come to the castle but her getup will not fool everyone especially the prince.

Prince Gabriel is waiting the arrival of his bride and meeting his nephews soon to be bride. He will be stunned to feel an attraction to this woman, but he will be even more stunned to find out this woman is not who she is pretending to be.

Kiss at MidnightKiss At Midnight is the first book to the Eloisa James series Happily Ever After. When I found these books I was instantly intrigued as I love when authors take the classic fairy tales and remake them in their own words. Grabbing several books to the series from the shelves I made this my project for the next several days.

Now Kiss At Midnight is clearly the fairy tale Cinderella as you can tell by the picture and the world midnight in the title. I have read many stories on the remake of Cinderella over the years but I have to say I really enjoyed Eloisa James remake. There are several little twist in the book that I did not see coming and it molds how the story is going to be told. Kate is a fiery woman who speaks her mind and has a sharp wit  She wants romance but she knows her limitations and a prince is certainly not in that equation. I liked she was not one to swoon or to cry at a mere problem but held back her feelings until they were unbearable (at the end). She also fought the attraction to the prince whenever she could. That was funny as Prince Gabriel is not one to have someone ignore him. Aside from the proud prince he was pretty fantastic as he cared more for his own people than his own happiness. Throughout the book I hoped that there would be a chance for love but as anyone knows true love in fairy tales always comes true so I wasn’t too worried.

I thought this book was a great start to this Happily Ever After series. I don’t know if James will continue with characters from the first book which it seems all had been given a happy ending. So my bet is this will be a whole new story with new characters. Nevertheless this is a series I think will be very enjoyable.

Sophia

Sophia is on a mission to find her Sire who has gone missing and trouble will not be far away as several vampires and their mates have been attacked or killed. Sophia will find help in Raphael’s group but will be stunned to find a man in the group she had left ten years ago.

Colin Murphy lives peacefully in the small town but now several attacks have been done to vampires and their mates. Colin will join the vampires to find out who is murdering them but he will be distracted as Sophia will be part of the group.

SophiaThe fourth book of D B Reynolds Vampires in America series is Sophia. So when I started this book and met the character Sophia I wasn’t really liking her especially as she tried using her wiles on Raphael with Cyn by his side. As Raphael and Cyn are my favorite I don’t like anyone who threatens to break them up, but I figured as she is the main person in the book I would warm up to her character and did. Sophia in her own right is a strong character as she has a lot of depth to her but its hidden and secret from those around her. I loved that she had a past with the tough Colin Murphy. Colin is an ex Navy Seals and is hard as nails especially as he closed up his heart ten years ago when the woman he loved died. Lust was driving the two characters which made the book spicier with those two heating up the pages once they got over the shock of seeing each other again. Of course lust wasn’t the only driving force as love swept in or that it never left them.

Sophia to me was bloodier than Reynolds other books. I guess as the plot dealt with death it was to be expected, but Reynolds does a very good job at the description along with the bad guys. The group of men who were doing the killing were lethal and deceitful.  She does especially good job at describing the tragedy that hits close to Raphael. It does not end fatal but certainly a close call which had my fingers tightening at the sides of the pages. Now Luicen’s character left me annoyed. He was a weak character to begin with and I was not unhappy with what happened at the end.

The fifth book to the series is going to be Duncan’s story which I can’t wait to read as he has been by Raphael’s side for more than two hundred years. It will be interesting to read where Reynolds will take Duncan’s story.

Close Enough to Touch

Close Enough to TouchGrace Barrett is down on her luck and is now in Wyoming, a complete change from LA. Grace will not take any crap or charity from people but her boundaries will be tested when she meets her neighbor Cole.

Cole Rawlins is healing from an injury only several months from ago. He will be staying at an apartment but when a new neighbor shows up Cole starts getting interested. Problems are in the making especially when Cole’s past and Grace’s past collide making old injuries hard to ignore.

Victoria Dahl is an author that can get your heart pounding with her characters and not just in that passionate way. You feel for the characters as she makes them real and with many depths making a well rounded character. Close Enough to Touch is one of her several novels she has written and its one that I couldn’t stop reading. You get to know Grace and Cole very well and know without a doubt these are two very damaged people. Both have boundaries that guard their emotions and wouldn’t let others in. Grace is more effective with it as she has learned many times to keep distant. Throughout the book I grasped it hoping that these two would have a chance to be together. I wanted them to find happiness with each other which is why when Cole’s old flame strolls into town I wanted to throw the book. Of course I kept reading. Dahl keeps true to her characters when she keeps them away from each other, well there is tons of passion when they are together but that’s not the future we all hope full for them. She does change the characters but in a subtle way as no one changes over night.

At the end we are left with a heartwarming ending that makes you smile as it leaves the characters in a good place. Now I checked out when she would have another book published and it looks like two characters from this book will have their own, Merry and Shane. Within this book they were more on the side so it will be interesting to read how they are to interact.

Much Ado About Marriage

Much Ado About MarriageFia MacLean wants to make her way in the world by her plays but to do that she must get to London. Fia will not though get married to have that dream happen as a husband would take away her freedom. Fia finds the solution in Thomas Wentworth.

Thomas Wentworth was on a mission and did not expect to get tangled up in a situation with Fia MacLean by his side. Thomas did not know what to think of this woman at first but soon learned that having her in his life would never be dull.

Much Ado About Marriage is the sixth book to the MacLean series by Karen Hawkins but it does not follow the MacLean siblings she started out with. Hawkins takes us back in time when the curse was just starting.

Instantly as I started to read I loved the character of Fia. She was impulsive, funny and stubborn. She got her way a lot and saw the good in people. Her faith in Thomas was of course tested and she passed but Thomas did not follow his heart. Thomas was well developed for espionage which throughout the book I thought Hawkins did a great job. He was a hero in his own right and a charming one at that. You wanted him to find a way to make a life with his wife before he blew his chance from his lack of trust.

What intrigued me about the book was the amulet which is what really created this curse. As I have read the other books you already knew most of the facts but it was fun to read it as it was happening and knowing what it would lead too. Overall the MacLean Curse series is one that was worth reading.

The Naked Baron

Glancing over the racks of books I found myself wanting to read Sally MacKenzie. Her Naked Nobility series is very funny and entertaining to read. I have read most of the series but two of the books. One of the books I have not read is The Naked Baron.

The Naked BaronGrace Belmont is having her first season at twenty five but it is not to find a husband. She found out that her father has already gotten her engaged to her neighbor. Grace will do her duty but it will be difficult when she finds herself attracted to the Baron.

Baron Dawson “David” is on the lookout for a wife and no one would do that is before he saw Grace. Everything about her called to him and he wanted her to be his but there were obstacles in the way.

The reason I did not want to read this book in the beginning was because Grace was the woman who jilted John which was stated in The Naked Gentleman. You start to read the book and it completely changes my opinion as you get to know her character. She is fun, passionate, awkward, and has a warmer personality then what you are lead to believe from the previous book. I liked that now you understand the struggle she went through to do the right thing the best she could. This helped me like her a lot more. Now David was funny as well but his mind was solely on lustful feelings which were how his thoughts tended to drift every time he was around Grace. It was entertaining to read.

A second story was being told at the same time with Kate (Grace’s Aunt) and Alex (David’s Uncle). Their story was about second chances. I loved how MacKenzie did not make it easy on the couple but she threw in a couple twists that had you hoping for a happy ending finally for these two, and she doesn’t disappoint.

There is no real villain in this story but those of society are of course cruel and spiteful. Grace’s father does do a good job at imitating a villain as he wants to force Grace into a loveless marriage as he had to do. There is no real saving that relationship but MacKenzie will give insight as to why the father acts as he does.

The Naked Baron is full of laughs at what happens and a lot of playful passion which arises in the book. Only one book to go for the Naked Nobility series, The Naked Marquis.

The Laird Who Loved Me

The Laird Who Loved MeAlexander MacLean wants revenge on the woman who humiliated him in front of the ton. Alexander is not one to be trifled with and he is looking forward to his own form of torture, but he does not anticipate it will backfire. Alexander will find that fire still burns each time Caitlyn is in his arms.

Caitlyn Hurst wants to make amends for how she behaved to Alexander and now at a house party she will have that chance. Caitlyn does not expect Alexander to still be angry with her stunt. She will accept the challenge Alexander gives her but with every moment they spend together her heart beats stronger as she finds love in his arms.

The Laird Who Loved Me is the fifth book to the series the MacLean Curse. I love how Karen Hawkins really made each brother to be a hot head which is needed as their temper is known around London especially when the storms start coming. The plot of a revenge was well done as it kept the characters at odds most of the time which was entertaining to read. Both, Alexander and Caitlyn are hot heads but of course in different ways. I wasn’t sure I would completely love Caitlyn but throughout the book you ended up cheering for her. She is impulsive but there is fire in her that brings out her courage when she needs it. Hawkins once again brought humor to the characters and wit especially when Alexander and Caitlyn are battling each other with the tasks they must perform. I found it highly entertaining to read how they bested each other.

Now the villain was someone you wanted to hate as she was a poisonous woman who thought of no one but herself, the hostess of the house party. You knew that she would cause a rift and there is a little heartache which follows but Hawkins will end it on a happy note in favor of Alexander and Caitlyn.

This is a great end to the siblings story but I looked ahead and found there is one more book to this series in Much Ado About Marriage which almost sounded like a prequel to the series when I read the description. 

Proof of Seduction

Madame Esmerelda or really known as Jenny has played the role of the fortune teller for twelve years but it was time to stop the charade especially as a bet was now placed on her. Jenny did not want to hurt Ned who would find out she was a fake but before she would surrender she found herself surrendering to his cousin the scientist.

Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely did not believe in fortune tellers. All he knew for certain was this woman as taking advantage of his cousin who was spending a lot of money on her predictions. This was going to stop now. Gareth would set out to prove that this fortune teller was a fraud but he finds himself being pulled into her web only to discover the real woman.

Proof by SeductionI had seen Courtney Milan’s name and decided to grab a book of hers to try her out. Proof by Seduction is the first book of Carhart series and I thought it was very good. At first I was not pulled into the story but once it started to unravel you are taken with the story especially how the main characters are a fake fortune teller and a scientist. The pair seemed unlikely and it is but throughout the book that all changes for them. Romance along with a fiery passion builds and finally burst between the two characters but it will not be an insistent happiness. For me I thought Milan does a wonderful job on character detail throughout the book. Each had a past which they were hiding from or dealing with. At the end of the book you felt as you knew the characters. I will certainly be checking out more from Courtney Milan.