Once Upon a Maiden Lane

Miss Mary Whitsun will be stopped at the bookstore by a man who thought she was his fiancee, Lady Johanna Albright. She will be told that she was the missing twin of the Albrights. Mary will immediately be taught all that it meant to be a lady and will learn that with this came a fiancee, Viscount Blackwell.

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell was to marry the oldest daughter of the Albrights. It would have been Cecilia but she was never found, he was told to marry Johanna whom he thought as a sister. Now with Mary, he believes that she is the missing twin and Henry finds himself wanting Mary from the moment they interacted.

Once Upon a Maiden Lane is the third story from the Maiden Lane Novella series by Elizabeth Hoyt. I really loved this novella. It was really well done and it was fun that Mary Whitsun was the main character. She was always in the background.

Mary’s character was wonderful. She is a servant but really more of a friend to Lady Caire since she grew up in their orphanage. I liked that Mary was strong in her character. She did not back down but you knew that with everything that was happening it was overwhelming. She will be up to the challenge especially as she gets to know Henry more every time he stops by. Henry’s character was charming and smiled at the right times. I liked that he had to work at getting Mary to like him. I also liked that true feelings started to form.

There is a twist that is a little sad but with that twist comes an opportunity to change the situation and make a new future, which I really loved.

Now, I keep reading that this is the last book of the series for Maiden Lane. Don’t know if it is true. If it is then this was a great ending to the whole series.

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Once Upon a Christmas Eve

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque was in his carriage with his grandmother when their wheel was broken. Adam will be fortuntate that they were close to another house. He found out it was St. Johns which was less than perfect as Sarah St. John was in the house. She had a very low opinion of him.

Sarah St. John hated rakes which was what Adam was, though as the days go by with them at being together Sarah started to feel something for him. She started to see that he was not just a rake.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve is the second book to the Maiden Lane Novella series by Elizabeth Hoyt. I liked this novella. I thought it was a sweet addition and perfect for the Christmas season.

Sarah’s character had a very poor view of men especially rakes because of her past. She will be shown that some rakes were not so bad. That they had layers underneath their mischievous ways. Adam’s character was more than he appeared. He had a tragic story with his parents which helped explain his desire never to settle down. I liked Adam for the most part. I thought at times he was a little too pushy with the teasing but in the end he redeems himself.

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof

Rita Lucero did not want to host the Mardi Gras party but was forced into the role. She will work hard to make the party a success but when one of the guest winds up dead a whole lot of trouble starts for Rita’s family.

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof is the second book to the series A Piece of Cake Mystery by Jacklyn Brady. I am really enjoying this series. It actually surprised me because of my lack of interest with mystery’s. Although to be fair this is definitely not a very serious mystery, this is what is considered a cozy mystery. It was fast paced and it kept me interested.

Rita’s character is out of her element with the amount of work to do. Although she is ready for that hard work. Personally she needs to take a break and chill out for a moment but that would be unlikely to happen. With the investigation Rita stays close to it as her family could be in trouble. I liked her tenacious attitude with the investigation but she was too head strong and acted first then thought.

The investigation was interesting as she did her own interviewing of the bystanders. I was wondering who had done it without too much success with guessing the right person. The main police officer was Liam Sullivan who had been introduced in the first book. Now as a romance reader I am always looking to see who will become attached. Liam definitely has a shot and then there is Gabriel the bartender. Only time will tell if Rita’s character will become more than interested in one of them. I just don’t want the whole love triangle thing happening. It gets annoying and I lose interested.

With each story I am also learning more about the staff and I have to say I am not too impressed by them. They are clearly resentful of Rita for invading their territory. Though I have noticed that some of the ice has thawed and they are warming up to her.

I decided to continue with this series and will be reading Arsenic and Old Cake next.

A Buckhorn Baby

Amber Hudson has been dating Noel for a while and she wants more, but she wants Noel to declare himself first. She had tried everything but nothing was working. Then a tragedy strikes a friend and Amber’s world will get turned upside down with a new addition to her family.

Noel Poet did not want children but he wanted Amber. He just wasn’t good at showing what he wanted. When Amber takes guardianship Noel will surprise himself by helping out. He will start to wonder if he could have it all.

A Buckhorn Baby is part of the Buckhorn Brothers series by Lori Foster. I really loved this sweet story. I had been waiting for Amber’s story and I was not disappointed.

Amber’s character is the matchmaker of the group but when her friend dies she becomes guardian of June. Amber quickly falls in love with the little girl but knows that she will lose Noel as he was adamant about not wanting children. I loved how Amber was willing to give up everything for this child. I also liked that there was a different side to Amber. With June she was not her perfect self, she was unorganized and tired. It was realistic for a new mother. Noel’s character was a good man and a firefighter. He was also against children because of his job. It was sweet how he was taken in my June. She hung on to him and did not let go. Noel’s life would be incomplete without Amber and June in his life. The ending to this story was very sweet and very true to this Buckhorn Brothers series.

Now is this series done or are we going to get more? There are still Gabe’s daughters who have not gotten their story. Only time will tell.

Brown Eyed Girl

Avery Crosslin was a wedding planner who was trying to make her business profitable. When she lands a big client she is hopeful this will skyrocket her career. Though this job will have her getting close to Joe Travis, the one man she was trying to avoid. He was a temptation that she wanted to avoid, but Joe will not let her forget him.

Joe Travis had seen Avery and wanted her instantly. Joe will do all that he could do to get Avery’s attention. He will slowly entice her, seduce her, and show that he truly cares for her.

Brown Eyed Girl is the fourth and final book to the series Travises by Lisa Kleypas. I really enjoyed this story. For me it was a slow like. At first it was a little slow with getting to know the characters, but once I got to know them I was all in with the story.

Avery’s character was a dedicated worker and doing her best to elevate her career. Work was all she did as she had been burned before by her ex. Avery was guarded but with Joe she was letting down her guard. The part with the dog was too cute. It made me want to adopt another animal, but with a dog and a cat already I don’t have the room. There was another cute part with dogs that was at the ending, which gave a sappy yet very satisfying ending. Joe’s character was a man who had gone through a tragedy with losing his father and an accident that could have killed him. You would think that Joe would be withdrawn but he was easy going and it was clear he was besotted with Avery. I liked the way he pursued Avery. He confounded her when he couldn’t keep his hands off of her to being polite and almost indifferent. Of course you knew the whole time Joe wanted her but he wanted her to feel the same, and she will.

The bride to be and mother were terrible. At first I thought the bride to be was just a little spoiled but then I read the truth and it wasn’t good especially for the groom. I was happy that Avery went with her conscious on the situation.

I thought the Travises series was one that was worth reading.

Sugar Daddy

Liberty Jones had dreams of leaving, but when circumstances change her life is forever altered. Liberty does her best to do everything she could for her sister. Their lives will change when Liberty meets the Travises family but things will get complicated when her past shows up.

Sugar Daddy is the first book to the series Travises by Lisa Kleypas. I liked this book a lot. I found it dragging a little in the beginning but it was needed as you got to know Liberty’s character.

Liberty’s character was interesting. She was kind and tried her best especially with her sister. Where many would give up, she kept going. What drove me a little crazy was her obsession with Hardy. It was annoying as she kept comparing every man to one heated kiss she had received from Hardy years ago. I almost wanted them just to have sex so it would be over and done with. I figured once it was done they would figure out they wouldn’t last. Of course I was glad they didn’t as that would really end Liberty and Gage.

The Travises family were good people and very wealthy, but they were hiding something and that will connect them to Liberty. The hints are there and pretty easy to figure out. Within the family I really liked the father, Churchill. He was a kind older man who wanted friendship from Liberty. Gage, Churchill’s son, wanted more from Liberty. I liked Gage for the most part. He grew on me as he interacted with Carrington and Liberty.

Throughout the book I didn’t really like Hardy. He wasn’t a character I was rooting for. Yeah I am happy he helped Liberty in her childhood but he truly was ruthless and I think cared more about himself. Not sure how I am going to like him in the next book but I will try it out. I am reading Blue-Eyed Devil next.

Caroline Bingley

After reading through the collection of Jane Austen’s books I was given several suggestions by fellow blogger Dot at La Deetda Reads. She had suggested two books, Charlotte Collins and Caroline Bingley by Jennifer Becton. I had looked into the story about Charlotte first and discovered that it sounded familiar. I had read the book about four years ago, so I crossed that book off my list and went in search of Caroline Bingley from my library.

Caroline had been exiled from her family and she was sent to her mothers home. Caroline was very resentful of her brother and the Bennett sisters but she was determined to get back into his good graces and to find herself a wealthy suitor.

I was apprehensive of reading this story because like many who have loved Pride & Prejudice Caroline’s character was not loved. She was snotty and thought she was above everyone else, especially the Bennett sisters. After reading Jennifer Becton’s novel I will have to say that I like Caroline, don’t love her character, but definitely liked. I thought Becton did a really fantastic job on keeping Caroline’s character in tact from the original story.

In this novel Caroline was the main character, which really let you get to know her. I liked her in this novel because you got to read that she truly loved her family and wanted what was best for everyone. She just goes about things the wrong way. It also helped that Caroline was given a dose of her own medicine. She is humbled by the situation which lets her truly follow her heart.

In the end I was cheering for Caroline to find that happy ending with the right man.