Even though it is after the holidays I decided to read A Holiday By Gaslight by Mimi Matthews. This was a novella with a very Christmas theme and it was delightful.
Sophie Appersett was being courted by a suitor who was not a gentleman but he was as rich as one. Her parents supported the match but Sophie was having a hard time. She knew nothing of her suitor which did not sit well with her. Becoming bolder Sophie needed to know Ned more and at the Christmas party seemed the best idea.
Mr. Edward “Ned” Sharpe had been besotted by Sophie but he had no idea how to talk to a lady. He will follow a book which will make his seem distant. Ned believes that all is lost but then Sophie gives him a proposal.
I really enjoyed these characters. Sophie was often a little too shy at times and Ned was not forward enough but they got their act together. I liked that Sophie became a little more assertive and Ned took charge but he was not demanding. There was a part in the book that I thought all was ruined but thankfully they were able to talk.
The idea of gaslight was interesting to read and the father was definitely a visionary but he was too much of a dreamer and very selfish.
The one aspect I didn’t really love was Emily, who was Sophie’s sister. Emily was too spoiled for me. She wasn’t a villain but she wasn’t a great sister always. Deep down she was a good person, but I would almost prefer her to be the villain. It was annoying to have her in the book. I kept saying she was okay to she was annoying.
Melissa Oxford is a widow and a rancher, with a ten year old daughter. She gets by and is trying to make a profit with her farm. Melissa does not like to ask for help but she will get it with her neighbor and friend Cary. He was strictly in the friend zone but when he kisses her, everything changes.
Cary Nakamura has loved Melissa from afar. He has been patient and helping out when he could but he knew that he had to make his move. He wanted to have Melissa in his life as more than a friend.
Grit is the third book to the series 7th and Main by Elizabeth Hunter. Since reading Ink and Hooked I have been anticipating Cary and Melissa’s story. I am absolutely in love with this friends to lovers book. Everything about this book was charming, sweet and steamy. If you have not tried Elizabeth Hunter’s series 7th and Main check it out.
Melissa is a hard working woman who does not take handouts from nobody. She is stubborn and prideful but a good person. She makes sure that her daughter is provided for, even though her in-laws keep trying to make it seem that she could be doing more, that they could be giving more if she lived with them. Melissa was not going to do that. I was happy that she was fighting them, she should not be under their thumbs, but I was frustrated with Melissa since she kept Cary out. She does let Cary help some but only a little at a time, though it did make sense because of Melissa’s fear when it comes to relationships. She does not want to be alone again. Cary was amazing. He is a man who knows what he wants but is patient and gentle, and playful when he needs to be. It was also so sweet that he never gave up on Melissa, he kept going because he knew that she was worth it.
Abby, Melissa’s daughter, was too precious for words. She is ten years old and has a head for business and a love of goats. Her obsession with goats was pretty darn cute. There was one part that Abby had that was a major part in and it made me cheer for the little girl. She was brave to say the words that were needed, which also let some of the healing begin.
I hope that the series continues but will have to wait and see. If it doesn’t this was a great finish to the series. If the series does continue I would like to see Adrian, who is the lawyer in the story, to be the next main character in the book.
Ian and Riley are back in this quick short story! A Very Dare Christmas is a novella, number 6.5, in the series Dare to Love by Carly Phillips.
Its Christmas time and Riley is feeling overwhelmed with everything she has to do and her husband sees her exhaustion. Ian will do what any good husband would do, he will whisk his wife away for a romantic getaway to reconnect.
I really loved reading this story because it gave an insight into Ian and Riley’s lives which seemed realistic. The romance was leaving because all their attention was on their children. Getting back the romance was easy for them and very steamy. Though after reading this short story I found myself annoyed because it was like a teaser to the series. I want Carly Phillips to finish the series. I believe there are only three more siblings to write about and I just want them to be written so I know what is going on. I also hope that there is some actual justice when it comes to their cheating father.
I am looking forward to reading more from the series. Please Carly Phillips finish these novels!
Wes Sinclair was adamant about winning the bet which he won fair and square. When he won he got Natalie to be his slave for two weeks. He will find ways to drive Natalie crazy but she will turn the tables on him until they both give in to desire.
Natalie Prescott was determined to win the bet she made with Wes but in the end she will lose, though things will quickly change between them. Natalie will find herself losing the bet but getting much closer to Wes.
Big Shot is the first book to the series Book Boyfriend by Carly Phillips. I really enjoyed this light and steamy read from Carly Phillips. Its a book that you can just sit down and read and enjoy the banter between Wes and Natalie.
Wes was an egotistical male but you could not help and like him. I wanted him to take a chance and just be honest with Natalie but it is hard to cross that boundary. I was cheering for him especially when he showed his gentler side, he was a true romantic at least when it came to Natalie. Natalie was a determined woman who wanted to do all that she could, she wanted to be the best. Like Wes, I wanted Natalie to open up to him about her feelings and tell him once and for all how she felt. Although I did like that she was not waiting for him, she was doing what she could with her life.
I really liked the cross over with the Dirty Sexy series. It was fun to read about the Kincaid brothers. It actually makes me want to reread their stories.
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.
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.
Rita Lucero will be forced to go to a community meeting as she has a temporary seat on the board. Things will start to escalate when Rita will be almost hit by a van. Rita will start to wonder if the van was meant for her or someone else, especially when Destiny will be found dead a couple days later.
The Cakes of Wrath is the fourth book to the series A Piece of Cake Mystery by Jacklyn Brady. I enjoyed the book. Although at times I wish that Rita was not so curious because it is getting to the point of unbelievable. With all that she had gone through you would think that she would try and avoid situations that had a dead body. Though without her curious nature the book would not be the same.
I thought it was interesting getting the community together in this book. You got to know a lot more characters and understand the town a little better. I thought it added to the mystery of Destiny’s murder. There were a lot more suspects to wonder about.
I was a little disappointed that Sullivan was not in the picture. Gabriel is the main guy and I wonder if he will be with Rita. For some reason I just don’t like him and hope at the end of the series she is with Sullivan.
The characters that were driving me crazy and they were supposed to were Detective Winslow and Pearl, and even Miss Frankie. The detective was going after Rita and it really sounded like he had a grudge against her which I am not sure why he did. Pearl was just immature. She always seemed to get her own way and not worry about anything. Then there is Miss Frankie, she getting to the point of overbearing with doing things she thinks she could do without asking others their opinion.
Even with the dislike of some of the characters I am reading the fifth book next.
Kandis Thornton was on the show for one reason, the money. She wanted to help her mother and the money would do that. Kandis had a plan going into the show but it will be blown away when she gets a partner, Brodie Short. Though as they work together Kandis wonders if something real could come from a fake show.
Brodie Short was wanting to be famous, that was why he was on these reality tv shows. His first show had him as a villain and he wanted to change that. He had become a flirt instead but his partner will have him wanting more.
Bedroom Games is the fourth book from the series Games by Jessica Clare. I really liked this novel. I am a big fan of Big Brother reality tv show and this was based off that popular tv show. Reading this novel definitely brought me back to the show especially with all the deals that are made between the contestants.
Kandis’s character was someone I appreciated because she was playing the game but even through all of it you could still tell the real girl beneath it all. I liked that she found lust with Brodie but she still kept her guard up around him. Brodie’s character was considered the villain from the previous book and I fully expected to dislike him but I didn’t. Within this game it is expected to sneaky and he did a good job, but you got to read his thoughts in the interviews and knew that he was starting to feel something that was real. Though all through the whole book I wondered if those feelings would truly last. I got the answer at the end of the book.
Stephen Crenshaw, Marquess of Dunwich, was back in England after several years away as a soldier. He had been a rake back then but he has changed. He knew what was important and that was getting the woman he had loved back.
Lady Faith Westover, daughter of the Duke of Strathmore, had loved Stephan. She was blinded to his rakish ways but when he had left her eyes had been open. Now with Stephan back Faith will try to keep away but he wouldn’t let her, not until she forgave him.
Once a Scoundrel is the fourth book from the series The Secret Life of Scoundrels by Anna Harrington. I really enjoyed this novella. It was short and straight to the point. The novella covered a lot, a betrayal, love, second chances, rumors, and friendship.
Faith’s character had been hurt by the man she loved and wasn’t ready to forgive and forget. Her betrayal was understandable. I think the betrayal might have been a little over dramatic, though nothing annoying. I thought Faith was a refreshing young lady with a good head on her shoulders and now was guarded with her heart. Stephan will find a way to her heart but it will be Faith to make the ultimate decision. Stephan’s character had changed, and changed for the better. I liked that he truly did change and it wasn’t a facade in order to get what he wanted. He was sincere and filled determined to do right in his life. I liked that he had to work to get what he wanted.
Piper Dove was trying to make something of herself and bring back Dove Investigations. She will get a job but will be found out quickly, though it will turn around when he hires her.
Cooper Graham was an ex-quarterback who had opened his own nightclub. He was living life but then Piper thrust herself into his world and it was forever turned upside down.
First Star I See Tonight is the eighth book to the series Chicago Stars by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I enjoyed this story. It has been about two years since I had read the seventh book. Luckily you don’t have to know the characters from the previous book, although they are mentioned, this could be read as a standalone novel.
Piper’s character was out there. She was a little crazy but really it was a defense mechanism to keep those around her at an arms distance. Even though she was unconventional she got the job done. When it comes to relationships she doesn’t want one as she knows it will lead to disappointment. I was glad that Coop was resilient. Coop’s character was a man who had gotten whatever he wanted and he liked it that way. Getting together with Piper was not in his plan but he went with it. I liked that Piper kept him on his toes and that he never truly gave up.
The rest of the novel is filled with strange friends, some thieves, kidnapping, and a buy out that was going wrong. There was a lot that was happening but somehow it fit and made sense.