Posted in books, dating, fiction, love, relationships, romance, women

Review: Princess for a Bride

princess-for-a-brideVictoria Rothman is getting married to a man she hardly knows.  As the Princess of Villemont, a small country that borders France and Switzerland, it is important to forge a permanent alliance between her family and that of her father’s best friend.  And while Edward Farmingham Channing IV might have been a fixture of her childhood, it hardly bothers her that the man never speaks with her.

It doesn’t matter if husband and wife lead separate lives just so long as they produce an heir and hold one of the most extravagant weddings in all of Europe.  In Princess for A Bride, Noelle Adams  explores the limits and possibilities of romance in an arranged marriage.

Marrying Edward had originally been her sister Amalie’s responsibility.  But her sister went to university in the United States and married a laid back American.  So to the altar it is for Victoria and Edward.  Edward seems entirely bored and unexcited during the wedding ceremony and downright cold on their wedding night.

When he offers to delay sex until they know one another better, is he being concerned and caring?  Or is something else going on?  As the two vacation in at an exclusive resort in Fiji, he locks himself away.  She draws him out and the two slowly become closer.  But why doesn’t he kiss her?  And why does he withdraw one moment, confide in her the next?  Why does he neglect her and then feel jealous?

Fairytale moment: he offers her access to his money and own account — giving her a freedom that she has never felt before as a princess.  Although she immediately promises not to waste his money.

As the two grow closer together in Fiji, Victoria realizes she no longer wants a husband with whom she will lead separate lives.  But she’s not going to beg for his attention and affection.  She’s a Rothman, after all.

Will Victoria and Edward trust each other with their secret’s?  What does Edward do when he locks himself away in a secret room all day?  Read Princess for a Bride and find out.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in books, dating, fiction, love, relationships, romance, women

Review: Everything For Her

everything-for-herMallory was raised in foster care in Connecticut.  She went to Yale on a scholarship.  And now she has one of the most coveted internships in the country.  She’ll be working at Osbourne Corp — the same company that sponsored her scholarship and paid for her education.  And although she can’t afford New York, her Yale roommate, Paige can afford to buy a condo in Lennox Hill.

So Paige and Lennox can do New York in style.  And on the night before her internship, they go out for a drink at a bar.  She is waiting for Paige to finish talking to a man when a mysterious man pays for her drink.  Altough Mallory initially hesitates to give him her name and phone number  — his shoes cost more than her rent — they are soon trading intense and flirty texts..  She hesitantly gives her name and number to him.  He calls himself Oz.  As in the wizard of.

Is he sweet and charming?  Presumptuous and controlling?  In Everything for Her, Alexa Riley explores the fine line between love and obsession.

At first things seem perfect.  She’s off to a great start at her internship.  Oz sends charming and flirty texts.  He whisks her off to great restaurants.  He drops off package’s with her doorman.

He keeps her on pins and needles waiting for his texts.  It’s fun and scary at once that he comes on so strong.  She thinks he’s just trying to get laid although he promises that he’s after much more.  And checks in – wishes her luck, asks how her day was.  He is charming and she is hooked.

Except that he also orders her to wear her hair up and to wear red lipstick.  He is jealous of her shirt — because it look’s like another man’s shirt.  And suddenly the man that Paige had been talking to in the bar shows up, following them everywhere.  And suddenly Paige is acting very weird, constantly asking her about Oz, and warning her that men like Oz aren’t always what they seem.

It turns out that the secret man is Miles Osbourne and when he finds Paige dancing with their old statistic’s professor, he attacks the man.  Why is Paige acting so strangely?  Do Miles love Mallory?  Or is he a crazy man with a bank account?  Read Everything For Her and find out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: Now That I’ve Found You

now-that-ive-found-youDrake Sullivan is a prestigious artist living in a secluded hunter’s cabin near Montauk, and Rosalind  (Rosa) Bouchard is a trashy reality t.v. show star.  When a scandal breaks out and naked photos of her are spread across the internet, she climbs into her old car and drives for twenty-four hours, checking into a hotel under a false name.

Rosalind is the center of public attention.  Some believe she is an exhibitionist.  Some believe that the naked photos are a violation of her private life.  Experts weigh in.

And it’s not easy to hide out without help.  And when her car breaks down on the side of the road, Drake steps in to help her out, arranging to get her car repaired and helping with the bills so that she can maintain her privacy without using her credit cards.

In Now That I’ve Found You, Bella Andre brings two unlikely people together and makes you root for them.  Drake — who has been living a very private life in self-imposed exile in Montauk — feels the urge to paint Rosalind.  But he has sworn never to paint people.

But when Rosa shows up to his cabin and finds him painting her, he asks her permission and she agrees on the condition that he never show a single person. she goes to thank him and repay him and finds him painting her.  He asks her for permission to paint her.  She doesn’t know if she should trust him or not.

Will he keep his promise?  What will happen when his sister shows up and sees the paintings?  If Rosalind finds out will she trust him?  And as he continues painting Rosa, will be become his father – a man who singularly and obsessively painted one woman (Drake’s mother) until she left them and it broke him?  Is he making himself vulnerable to love?  And if so will that love be obsessive and destructive as his father’s?  Read Now That I’ve Found You and find out.

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Review: A Teaspoon of Trouble

a-teaspoon-of-trouble.jpegMix together a spoonful of nostalgia, an ounce of high school sweetheart, a cup full of charity bake-off, a large hunk of gorgeous veterinarian, a sweet four-year-old orphan, a pinch of unruly dog, and a charity baking event.  Let set and enjoy.  This is the recipe for Shirley Jump‘s A Teaspoon of Trouble.

Carolyn Hanson works an eighty hour per week job as a sous chef in New York City and lives in a tiny apartment.  But when her sister Sandy is killed in a car accident, leaving her nurse Emma in her care, Carolyn must figure out how to make room for a four-year-old.  And an unruly dog.

Carolyn has no idea how to talk to a child much less connect with one.  She has no idea what to say when Emma keeps asking for her mother.  So she takes Emma on vacation to hometown in Montana.  Maybe her mother will give her some ideas.  There she runs into the town veterinarian, Matt, who was her former high school sweetheart.

Matt and Carolyn make a deal.  She will coach him at baking and make sure he wins the town charity bachelor bake-off and he will teach her how to make the dog obey.

 

As Matt and Carolyn spend more time together will their old chemistry return?  How will they reconcile the small town life that he wants with the big city life that she wants?  Will Carolyn learn to connect to Emma?  Will she figure out how to support a four year old daughter into her demanding lifestyle?  Will Carolyn’s baking lessons pay off?  Or will Matt burn the town down during the competition?  Read A Teaspoon of Trouble and find out.

 

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Review: Healing A Heart

healing-a-heartMeet Jake, the fifteen most eligible man in Texas.  Women just keep showing up at his doorstep offering themselves in marriage.  Meet Bryn, the free-spirited hippie chick who had a one night stand with Jake (before he was the fifteen most eligible bachelor in Texas).

These two might be an illogical match but they will win you over in Amy Lillard‘s Healing a Heart.

Bryn is pregnant and determined to keep the baby. But when she tries to do the right thing by telling Jake about the baby he tells her to get rid of it.  And cowboys were supposed to be noble.  She is so out of there.  Except his mother and Grandmother ask – beg – her to stay.  They are noble.  Women always are 🙂

And so Jake is forced to spend time with Bryn even though he realizes that his forceful and strong mother and grandmother (They remind me of the Mom and Grandma from The Proposal – yeah Sandra Bullock!!) will try to make him marry Bryn.

As Bryn and Jake spend time together, though, she grows closer to his family — his mother and grandmother as well as his sister-in-law Jesse.  The people around town are resentful of her and Jesse for stealing the most eligible bachelors around.  Will they get in the way of romance?  Will Jake’s tragic past prevent him from loving again?

Read Healing A Heart and find out.

 

 

 

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Review: Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries

Death-Taxes-and-Sweet-Potato-Fries-Cover-184x300Diane Kelly‘s Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries is just the kind of romance novel that you want to read in today’s political climate.  It features the romance life of an IRS agent who is assisting Border Patrol with a human trafficking case.  You’ll learn a lot.

IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway is fixin to tie the knot with Nick Pratt.  They are engaged and she could not be more astonished.  Mrs. Tara Pratt.  She likes the sound of it.

And who better than Nick to partner with when she is asked to assist in investigating a “coyote” how has trafficked numerous undocumented workers across the border.  Are coyotes like an underground railroad for migrants?  Or are they like human traffickers?  Tara weighs in on the debate as she pursues a man who has kidnapped three young women who paid him to move them across the border.  They are being held hostage so she has to move quickly on this one.

But when her leads keep coming up cold, she must reach out to a former flame who has employed a number of these undocumented immigrants?  Is he connected to the “coyote”?  Can he persuade his employees to participate in an investigation that could lead to their jail or deportation?

Will Tara’s relationship with her former flame, Brett, destroy what she and Nick have built together?  Should she tell Nick that she is investigating Brett’s nursery?  If she keeps a secret will it hurt their relationship?  Will a relationship spat between Nick and Tara prevent them from finding the kidnapped girls in time?  Will migrants speak out about the crime when they fear deportation?  Where are the girls?  Are they being abused?  Will an entitled senator’s friend get in the way with his demands on Tara’s time?  Read Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries and find out.

Side note: I love romance novels that are quietly informative. This book discusses some unusual aspects of border control that I have never thought about, like the effect of borders on the animal and wildlife population, ecosystems and habitats.

 

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Review: Someone to Hold

someone-to-holdIn Someone to Hold, Mary Balogh channels Jane Austen and Eddie Murphy as an heiress trades places with an orphan and romance is made complicated by England’s archaic inheritance laws. Set in a beautiful Bath setting, of course, beautiful Bath setting.

Lady Camille Westcott lived a life of privilege until the death of her father when she and her sister Abigail learn that he had another daughter from a former marriage.  Their newfound sister was raised as an orphan and is the proper heir to his estate.  Even worse.  Their father’s marriage with their mother had been illegitimate and bigamous.  Thus, she, Camille is a bastard.

And as Lady Camille is cast away from a world in which a woman’s life and liberty is controlled by parents and maids and nurses and chaperones, governesses and husbands and society at large, she also looses a fiance and must forge a new identity for herself.

Taking matters into her own hands, Lady Camille begins working as a teacher in the very orphanage that her half-sister Anastasia grew up in.  Joel Cunningham was raised in the

Joel Cunningham — the handsome and talented young artist who teaches alongside Camille – was raised in the orphanage alongside Anastasia (known to him as Anna Snow).  It was there that he had fallen in love with her.  He is determined to dislike Camille for being unkind to Anna?  Will he resent Camille for taking Anna’s place?  Will sitting for the portrait bring them closer together? Or will it make him hate her more? What will he feel when she intuits his love for Anna?

Will Camille get past the shock of her situation and learn to embrace her newly found half-sister?  Or are they doomed to hate each other forever?   Or will the attraction that she feels for Joel get in the way?  Will Joel grow to respect and love Camille? Or will his feelings for Anna get in the way?

Read Someone to Hold and find out.

 

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Review: Marrying Emily

marrying-emily.jpgSusan Stoker‘s Marrying Emily is an unusual romance novel in that it starts where most romance novels end — with a wedding.  Fletch, the lucky groom, is part of a team of Delta Force soldiers, and has already adopted Emily’s spirited daughter, Annie.

Annie is the kind of girl who is wearing combat boots with her wedding dress and enjoys playing soldier.  She’s is a tomboy — full of heart and energy and fun.  She is also utterly unpredictable.

Emily could not be happier that Fletch has adopted Annie.  The affection between Annie and Fletch shines throughout the ceremony. But can all of this perfection last?

It’s a beautiful wedding.  Until….

No, no one gets jilted at the alter or discovers that they are secretly married as is typical of romance books.  What happens is actually must worse.  The wedding guests are taken hostage at gunpoint.  Fletch is confident that he and his Delta Force team could over take the gunmen.  But can they do so without putting the women in danger?  Many of the members of the Delta Team (and SEALs in attendance) have been injured in combat. Are the injured members of the Delta Force up to the task after they have relinquished their prosthetic arms and legs to the gunmen?  And as he formulates a plan, can he account for his adopted daughter’s free-spirited, unpredictable behavior?  Read Marrying Emily and find out.

One thing that is very unique about Marrying Emily is that the book focuses substantially more on the character and their struggles than on the hostage situation.  There is a grim reality to how American veterans are treated and the trauma that many went through in Iraq.  Susan Stoker brings veterans issues front and center and the book will provoke you to consider the place of veterans in our society.  Here are some organizations to check out:  The Wounded Warrior Project, The Given Limb Foundation, and Fischer House Foundation.  Please add more to the comments below.

 

 

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Review: Hillbilly Rockstar

hillbilly-rockstarCountry and Western music star Devin McClain has had a string of weird things happen recently.  Like someone breaking into his bus to beat him up.  Luckily he was out with a girl — a journalist so the vandal didn’t find him.  They beat up JT instead.

The natural thing for any hot, muscular rock star to do is to hire a hot, female security guard (see how cool Lorelei James is as a romance novelist!  She’s given the Hillybilly Rockstar a female bodyguard.  It’s a reversal of Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard.)

Liberty Masterson to the rescue.  She doesn’t want to work for him; he’s a cocky dick, after all.  But she’s going to get a big bonus if she can manage to put up with him. And she’s a female so it won’t raise any eyebrows or create unnecessary publicity in the form of questions about a strange man/ bodyguard on the tour.

Their relationship gets off to a rocky start with some ugly and biting banter about her looks.  But he quickly realizes he’s attracted to her, and she is soon punishing herself for being drawn into that rock star charisma.

Will his macho behavior get in the way of her doing her job?  Who is behind this string of incidents?  Will the rockstar break her heart?  Will his heartbreaking past prevent him from realizing that she is an incredible woman?  And why is she so easy to open up to?  Read Hillbilly Rockstar and find out.

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Review: Highland Sinner

book_highland-sinner.pngSomeone – or something – is trying to frame Sir Tormand Murray.  First, he wakes up next to a corpse in the bedchamber of a woman with whom he has been having an affair.  Although he sneaks out unscathed, his ring is later found in the dead woman’s bedchamber.

In Highland Sinner, author Hannah Howell treats witchcraft with modern day and does a good job of capturing the fear and animosity that the town treats Morainn in the face of a series of gory killings.

Recalling that his foster brother had had some similar bad luck with women, someone recommends that he contacts a witch.  Tormand – ever the pragmatistic – doesn’t quite believe in witches.  He believes in the pleasure of life — and being quite the playboy.  He’s “kenned” plentiful women.

But when another of those women meets the same fate, his fate is thrown together with Morainn.

 

Morrain can’t help but be intrigued by the crime and by Tormand.  She’s been having visions of a man with death sitting on his shoulder.  But her presence and curiosity are a danger to her.  The crowd does not trust witches.  Shopkeepers shudder and cross themselves in her presence.

 

And as for Tormand — it’s probably not a good idea to get yourself romantically involved with a witch after you’ve been associated with a crime scene — but he can’t help but be intrigued by Morainn.  She is a woman after all.  And beautiful.

Who this killer going after every woman that was “kenned” by Tormand?  Who is trying to frame him and why?  Are Morainn’s vision dreams enough to bring justice?  Can Morainn and Tormand together escape this ruthless killer?  Will the fire burning between Morainn and Tormand be the same fire that burned between him and so many other women?  Or can he be faithful and offer the soul deep love she needs?  Can she trust him despite his past?  Read Highland Sinner and find out.