Alec Mackenzie’s Art of Seduction

Alec Mackenzie was in search of his brother, Will. He disguised himself as a French painter who was to teach Lady Celia, whose father was thought to have information on his brother. Alec was to get that information any way but he found that he could not use Lady Celia. Instead he will help her and surprisingly she will help him

Lady Celia had lived through scandal and was suffering the consequences. She was instructed to learn to paint portraits and she was to learn by a Mr. Finn. Celia will soon learn that all was not what it seemed when he it came to Mr. Finn.

Alec Mackenzie’s Art of Seduction is the ninth book to the series Mackenzie’s and McBrides by Jennifer Ashley. I really loved this book. Though whenever I read anything with the Mackenzies I will almost always love the book.

Alec was a warrior and playing a part to help find information on his brother who had been captured. Alec is a good man who will do anything for his family. Though he does stop before any harm could be done to Celia. I liked that he did not lie to her for long. They made a good team as they worked together to find Alec’s brother Will. I loved that Alec really did treat Celia as an equal. Celia was a good daughter. She was not the spoiled girl that everyone thought. She had lived through years of her mother ordering about and a scandal that had happened because of her mother. Celia tried her best but I was happy to read that she was spreading her wings and taking chances. I did not want her to be weak because that was how English ladies were supposed to act.

The mystery behind Will’s capture was intriguing and of course it sets up for the next book which will feature Will Mackenzie.

Arsenic and Old Cake

The last thing Rita Lucero wanted to do was go to an inn and spy but she was doing it for a friend. Rita and Gabriel will pose as a couple on their honeymoon to try and find out if their friends long lost brother had really surfaced. The situation will get tricky when a murder happens to one of the residents.

Arsenic and Old Cake is the third book from the series A Piece of Cake Mystery by Jacklyn Brady. I thought the book was entertaining but it was not my favorite of the series. I found it a little ridicules with the residents but they were hiding a secret. I will have to say the secret was good as I didn’t guess it, but knew they were hiding something that much was obvious.

Rita’s character is reluctant to help but because she is backed in a corner she will do so. Rita gets backed into a corner a lot. Though she will go all in when her curiosity takes hold. She is relentless when it comes to solving a mystery.

The one thing that is consistent with bugging me is the relationship that Rita has with Liam and Gabriel. I just want her to chose which man she wants. I personally like Liam better. I just hope a decision will be made at one point in the series.

I am reading The Cakes of Wrath next.

Married by Morning

Married by MorningCatherine Marks is a governess for the Hawthaway family and for three years she has felt accepted and part of a family. She hides her true self from all those around her but her secrets will start to come out and she will not be alone when she has to face her past.

Leo Hathaway has lived through tragedy and fell far from grace but he will be back on his feet trying to do what is right for his family. He will find that he will need to marry in order to keep their home. He doesn’t really want to but knows he needs to and he will look towards Catherine who usually fuels him with all the fights he can handle. Though he will start to see Catherine in a new light.

Married by Morning is the fourth book to the Hathaways series from Lisa Kleypas. For me the series keeps going well and I feel invested in these characters. Catherine and Leo were around in the beginning and it was interesting how you learned more about them throughout the books. Pieces to the puzzle were dropped in the paragraphs and you were left with more knowledge about who they were, this happened more with Catherine as her past was more of a mystery. I liked that Kleypas did not give the information away but kept dropping little subtle hints to let us know that it was not a past to be fond of or to remember. Catherine acted brave but she was still scared but it was more that she would become what she hated. Leo on the other hand had already turned into what he hated but survived. He was a good man and was certainly the hero of the story. He was protective of his family and that now included Catherine.

Their story was one that went up and down. They would fight at the beginning and it didn’t really matter what the subject was as they would argue no matter what. Then they found their rhythm as passion started to fill them when they encountered each other. Their love was sweet as it was something that was built and not instant.

The villain was definitely the man after Catherine but also the family of her past. They were a cruel as they didn’t think Catherine like a person but more like a thing that could be bought and sold. The villain no longer will be able to torment Catherine by the end of the book.

The last book is next with the youngest of the Hathaways.

The Handbook to Handling His Lordship

The Handbook to Handling His LordshipEmily Portsman was on the run most of her life hiding who she really was. Her past was starting to catch up to her and she had to be ready. She is blindsided with Nate Stokes who is not your average gentleman.

Nate Stokes, Earl of Westfall, liked to find things that were missing because he was good at it. His biggest paying assignment just landed in his lap to find a murderess. His theories lead him to the Tantalus Club and in the arms of Emily Portsman who he hopes is not the woman he is looking for.

The Scandalous Brides series has been one that I have enjoyed since the very beginning as it was different with a woman owning a gambling establishment only employed by females with the occasional men for security.

The Handbook to Handling His Lordship, the fourth book from Suzanne Enoch, takes you back to the club where Emily’s identity is being threatened to be uncovered. I thought Emily’s character gave a lot of little surprises especially with who she was as Enoch kept you guessing. She was stubborn and non trusting as she had to keep looking over her shoulder afraid that she would be found out. Nate was fun to read about as he was not your average gentleman. I liked that he made earnings with finding items that were lost or taken. He was a hero but no one could ever know what he had done.

Spies and secrets filled this book more so than the others and Enoch writes the story well. She builds up the story and entices you to want to know more of what really happened as you trust Emily is not the murder but victim. I also liked how Enoch had Emily and Nate interact. They were both watching each other to see if the other one will slip and let loose information they needed. Of course passion flares between them and they have to choose to trust each other.

The villain is easy to decipher as he is the one who is after Emily for killing his wife. Of course that is not the truth but what the Marquis spins so he can find Emily and have his own justice. But villains rarely get what they want.

A happy ending will follow that gives Nate and Emily a chance. I wonder who Suzanne Enoch will be writing about next.

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.

Touch of a Scoundrel

Touch of a ScoundrelGriffin Nash, Earl of Devonwood “Devon” is the head of his family and does not take the responsibility lightly. He will use his ranking when his brother has found love to a woman who is not deemed suitable. Devon will be stunned though when he has a vision involving his brother’s almost fiance.  Lust will drive him but caution will be there as he cannot trust this woman or hurt his brother.

Emmaline Farnsworth was used to the life she lived. She was not proud of it but determination to get money for her father to stay healthy was her drive. Emma will be distracted by the older brother especially when he inserts himself into her life. She has much to hide and to lose if the truth would come out.

Touch of a Scoundrel  is Mia Marlowe’s third book to her series. As the series grows you learn more and more about these powers this family possesses. I liked Devon’s powers with the visions of the future he possessed when he touched an object. This was a little different but kept with the idea that touch brought upon these powers. These visions shaped the book which I thought was interesting to read especially as Devon had stated that once it was seen it could not be changed. Marlowe will use this fact which will give a little twist at the end. Now as far as Emma goes I loved her character. She worked hard at deceiving people and making up new lives for herself and her father. Marlowe does a good job at uncovering who the real Emma was throughout the book. I will be looking for more from Mia Marlowe in the future.

Scandal Wears Satin

Sophy Noirot is a natural born saleswoman but now she must put her skills to another use, save the reputation of their most prominent customer. Sophy would team up with Clara’s brother Longmore in search of finding Clara before more damage was going to be done. She knew that going with Longmore would be tempting as she was finding it hard to resist the man any longer.

Earl of Longmore ears are ringing as his mother is always ordering and telling him things that are not going as they should. He became worried when Clara disappeared and was reluctant to accept help from Sophy but did as he knew she would be able to help. Having Sophy in close quarters was hard on Longmore and soon he would stop fighting it.

Scandal Wears SatinAfter reading the first book of Dressmakers series I wanted to know more with what would happen to Sophy and of course to Lady Clara. As Scandal Wears Satin is only the second book I have read from Loretta Chase I am still new to her but can tell you that I will be hooked on this author. The second story of the series once again swept me away with the story. There is humor and wit that burst through the pages. I loved the character of Longmore. I am not thrilled when the characters are portrayed stupid but for some reason it worked for him, well he wasn’t completely stupid just got distracted a lot. Chase made Longmore lovable with his nonsense of not always knowing the right thing to say but when it counted everything worked. Sophy was fabulous as well with her quick wit and a way with words. Once again it doesn’t seem like these two kinds of people from different stations in life but as they interact you only want them to find a way to make it work. The ending was wonderful and there is a little happy surprise with the all powerful mother of Longmore and Clara.

Now I want to find out more with the third Noirot Leonie who you don’t know as much as the other sisters just that she is  good with numbers. But Leonie is not the only one I want to know more, there is also Lady Clara who I hope that she finds a happy ending as it seems that in each book something bad happens to her to ruin her chance at happiness.

Sins of a Wicked Duke

I had already read the second book of the Penwich School for Virtuous Girls and wanted to read the first to see how all this started.

Fallon O’Rourke had lost another post. She knew that her pickings would be slim but thanks to the demon Duke himself she will have another post, but not as a maid. Fallon will turn herself into a footman by chopping her hair and wearing men’s clothing. She finds herself getting away with the disguise but knows it was a mistake to go work for the demon as he is too tempting.

Dominic Hale is a demon to most. He takes woman and gives them pleasure but never having one of them touch his heart. A fiery woman on the street that he had picked up is the only one that stirred something inside of him. He looks for her but never to find her not knowing that she resides in his household as the footman. Dominic will discover the farce and soon be tempting this woman with more than her maid duties.

Sins of a Wicked Duke was certainly sensual without a doubt and certainly in the right category of romance novels.

In the very beginning of the book I like how Sophie Jordan included the prologue to how all the girls meet at the school. You were given more of an insight about these girls and how they were bonded.

Jordan creates the character Dominic Hale very well as a demon and he didn’t take it easy on anyone. You wanted to hate him at times, feel sorry for him, then wanted him to find love. Slowly he changed which was suitable as a man like him would not change over night.

Fallon was perfect as the scared but brave woman who would do what she needed to stay alive. I liked the little twist for a happy ending that Fallon received. It wasn’t perfect until the very end of the book which Sophie Jordan delivers on.

Sins of a Wicked Duke kept me turning the pages until the very end. Can’t wait to finish the series with Marguerite.

Under Disguise Is A Challenge

Lady In Disguise was a short novel with plenty of characterization and an interesting plot. This was not a favorite but it pulls enough intrigue to keep you reading on how the characters will fare in the novel. From this one novel I am not put off from the author because you always have to try a second round.

Lady Victoria Courtney is in love with Richard but her chances of actually being with him is very slim as he doesn’t care or notice her. When Victoria happens to pass an actress a plan is vised as Victoria will take the actresses part and become the mistress of Henry. This will get her closer to Richard.

Richard, Marquis of Lansdon had a pack which his mother made and he would in no ways fulfill. He would pick which ever girl and it seemed clear it was Charlotte but all is questioned as he encounters Henry’s mistress which he has to watch over.

All fared well towards the end but it was a struggle and Diamond does give a sweet ending even though it was not thought to happen.

Take a break and listen for the confession

Elizabeth Boyle was someone I was interested in reading after I tried one other book from her. As I read the back cover summary my interest peeked. This sounded like the regency romances but with adventure and sabotage. Confessions of A Little Black Gown is the fourth book in the series  Bachelor Chronicles.

Thalia Langley was a spinster to everyone. She had settled on that she would never marry even as her sister tried to find men. Thalia though will have meet her match in a vicar. She never would have seen it coming but this particular vicar is not who he says but then again Thalia is not as innocent as she appears.

Lord Larkin is playing spy again as a vicar to find the whereabouts of a criminal and who helped him. What Larkin did not expect was to find Thalia Langley to be desirable and perhaps even in the middle of all of this mess. Larkin will have to keep up his disguise but that will be hard as Thalia threatens to make him forget everything.

This story was not all that I expected at first. I found it hard to get into the characters to a point which is sometimes how it is when you read novels out of order. Since Confessions of A Little Black Gown is the fourth book of the series perhaps starting at the beginning would give you more insight into the characters. But once you got into the story it slowly unfolded and you are able to loose  yourself into the story.

From reading the end of the story I am interested in how the following book will keep with the problem Boyle presented to the characters.