Friday, August 16, 2019

Unwrapping a Review of VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT, an Argeneau novel by Lynsay Sands

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. In an attempt to make up for my neglect, I have been offering up guest reviews for you to enjoy by my dear friend, Connie Fischer. I hope you have been following them.

However, today I am actually sharing my own review of a book I actually got to read recently…albeit several weeks ago – VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT, an Argeneau novel by Lynsay Sands. Being a huge fan of this series, I naturally inhaled it.

***print copy provided by the publisher in a contest but I am sharing an honest and unscripted review.

Blurb for VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT:

“Vampires...”

When Raffaele Notte pulls a barely dressed, disoriented woman from the ocean, the last thing he expects is for her to utter that word. The immortal has come to the island resort to help his cousin, but now, it seems, there are rogue vampires dining on unsuspecting tourists. And he soon realizes that not only is Jess a target, she’s also the life mate he’s been waiting for…

Vampires are real. Jess would’ve never believed it until she saw them with her own eyes. She knows she has to get off the island, and her gallant rescuer has offered to help. There’s something about Raffaele that’s unlike any man she has ever met, and his touch sends pleasure through her that is beyond all imagining. But when Jess discovers who he really is, will she risk life as she knows it for a chance of forever by his side?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

My Review:

Imagine going on a Caribbean destination wedding trip with family and friends and encountering a handsome yet rather crude, rude, and socially unacceptable man who seems to be a pirate but very attracted to you? Sounds like a dream vacation, doesn’t it? Well, Jessica Stewart encounters such a man when she and her cousin join him and his crew to go out on his ship to feed the sharks. However, very quickly, Jess discovers that things aren’t all that they seem and this handsome, pirate captain is actually a vampire. Now terrified and eager to get away from him, Jess does what has to be done and jumps ship. No matter that it’s out in the ocean, in the dark, and she hadn’t really thought it through and has left all her belongings behind—she starts swimming for shore.

Meanwhile, onshore, the handsome Raffaele Notte is vacationing with his cousins, Zanipolo and Santos and after noticing many of the beachgoers had bite marks on them, now suspects there are rogue immortals loose in Punta Cana. They’ve notified Lucian Argeneau, the head of the North Atlantic Council, and are awaiting a response and directions of how to proceed when Raffaele thinks he sees something out in the water. It’s very dark but of course, he can see because he’s an immortal and well, they have all those abilities. When he realizes it’s a woman, he jumps into the water and starts swimming towards her. Unbeknownst to her, she has attracted the attention of sharks so he must hurry. Of course, he can swim faster than most Olympic swimmers and reaches her before the sharks can make a snack of her. Once he has her, he tries to read her thoughts but is unable. He attributes it to her either being intoxicated or exhausted from swimming so puts it from his mind especially when the only word she utters is vampires.

Once Raffaele, Zani, and Santos discover what is happening in Punta Cana, they know they must protect Jess from Vasco, the immortal pirate captain who is determined to steal her away to his ship. You see, Raffaele cannot read Jess, while Zani and Santos can so they get the whole story from her mind. Raffaele cannot read her because she is his potential life mate and he has to figure out a way to keep his desire for her from overriding his responsibility to keep her safe while trying to convince her to accept him. There is another problem in that Vasco, the immortal pirate, also cannot read Jess and believes she is his life mate and so wants to steal her away so they might sail the high seas together and forever.

VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT by Lynsay Sands is action from the start with sexy men coming out of the woodwork. With Jess possibly being the life mate of two handsome and sexy immortals, she’s got her hands full with desire, skepticism while wondering if she’s going crazy and at times, being terrified for her life. All she wants to do is get a new passport and go home. Although, after spending time with Raffaele…and experiencing life mate sex…she isn’t too eager to leave him behind. Having Vasco in constant pursuit of her, however, is enough to make her wish she’d never come to Punta Cana. Meanwhile, Raffaele, Zani, and Santos are trying to figure out what to do about the rogues while keeping Jess safe. It’s not an easy task, especially with Zani constantly pushing Raffaele at Jess. To say he’s excited his cousin has met his life mate is an understatement. I love these guys.

I thoroughly enjoyed VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT from the first page to the last. It didn’t hurt that it takes place on a tropical island and so my imagination happily took me to the sun, beach, and sexy men.

I highly recommend VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT by Lynsay Sands because it’s fun, adventurous,  and will have you chuckling under your breath and smiling at the antics of these sexy immortals and their fumbling around a usually half-dressed woman. In case you’re wondering, whereas it’s best to read more than one or two of the Argeneau series to get the story behind them and meet the characters, it’s not necessary as each usually stands alone as a great read. However, I highly recommend this series even if you’re not into paranormal because Lynsay Sands writes them with such joy, humor, and adventure. Trust me, you’ll love the Argeneaus.

Happy Reading Everyone!!

VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT, an Argeneau novel #28 by Lynsay Sands, Avon Books, available now in print, ebook, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of DISCOVERING GRACE: an Inglewood novel by Sally Britton

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. So to make up for my neglect, I will be offering up guest reviews for you enjoy. I hope to be back reviewing for you soon but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my dear friend, Connie Fischer’s reviews to guide you to good reads. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

I present to you a guest review of DISCOVERING GRACE: A Regency Romance, an Inglewood novel by Sally Britton, published August 13, 2019.


Blurb for DISCOVERING GRACE: A Regency Romance:

A Sweet Regency Romance

To avoid being sent across an ocean, Grace switches places with her sister. The only man aware of their deception? A dear friend, and her secret love.

Grace Everly has no desire to set sail for the Caribbean, unlike her adventurous twin sister, Hope. Thanks to her sister’s irresponsible behavior and subsequent banning from the journey, Grace’s father decides to send her in Hope’s place. Desperate to remain where things are familiar, Grace proposes an unthinkable plan: that she and sister switch places. They only have to keep up the act long enough for Hope to board a ship in London. When the man who has stolen Grace’s heart learns of their secret, things get more complicated.

Jacob Barnes, soon to be ordained a vicar, has known Grace and Hope his whole life. Though close to both sisters, he’s dreamed of courting Hope for months. When he realizes his friends have switched places, putting the woman he admires out of his reach, he agrees to help with the subterfuge despite his bruised heart. As he watches Grace stumble in her acting abilities, attempting to change who she is, he realizes how much she means to him. But how does he tell her, without risking their friendship?

The deception puts their relationship to the test. As Grace hides her heart and her identity, Jacob examines his feelings, and no one in their community will be happy when the truth is discovered.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Connie’s Review:

1814

Grace and Hope Everly, age 24, are twins. Although identical in appearance, they are opposites in temperament. While Grace is calm and a homebody. Hope is prone to mischief and has a bit of a bad temper. Hope wants to travel to London to take in some of the season or go to Bath to take the waters. Unfortunately, the girls’ mother doesn’t like to travel, so there they stay.

Today, their friend, Miss Irene Carlbury has come to call. She grew up on the Caribbean island of St, Kitt’s, and has now come to England to polish her manners and such. Irene’s family will be returning to the Caribbean for the better part of a year. They want to take one of the twins as a companion for Irene and wants the girls’ parents to decide which sister should go. The parents choose Hope and she is delighted. Although Grace does not wish to go, she is saddened at being separated from her sister. Relieved at not being chosen, Grace still worries that Hope doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting into.

Jacob Barnes is a neighbor to the Everly family and secretly is in love with Hope. He is sad to learn that she is leaving. Jacob will soon become the new vicar.

When Hope’s temper causes a carriage accident that injures a young man, her father denies her the trip to the Caribbean, and will send Grace in her place. Both girls are devastated. So, at the last minute, they pull a switch allowing Hope to go as Grace and Grace acting and dressing like Hope until at least Hope’s ship has departed. The deception is difficult for Grace and she feels bad lying to her father.

Soon, Grace and Jacob spend more time together and Grace confesses to him. He is shocked at her deception. When her father finds out, he is furious and makes her stay in her room and tells her that she must confess her sin in front of the church members.

This is where I said - wait a minute! That is way too harsh a punishment to inflict on a woman who is 24-years-old for Pete’s sake. There comes a time in life when a parent doesn’t get to treat their offspring like a child. I almost stopped reading the book, however, I like the author so I finished it. The author brings it together for the reader in the end and promises that we will read Hope’s story in her next book. I do hope that it is not as harshly religious as this one, because that was a huge turnoff!

Copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

DISCOVERING GRACE: A Regency Romance, an Inglewood novel by Sally Britton, Blue Water Books, available now in ebook and print at Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. 
 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of MURDER AT CROSSWAYS, a Gilded Newport Mysteries novel by Alyssa Maxwell

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. So to make up for my neglect, I will be offering up guest reviews for you enjoy. I hope to be back reviewing for you soon but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my dear friend, Connie Fischer’s reviews to guide you to good reads. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

I present to you a guest review of MURDER AT CROSSWAYS, a Gilded Newport Mysteries novel by Alyssa Maxwell, published July 30, 2019.

Blurb for MURDER AT CROSSWAYS:


In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fĂȘte of the Newport social season and discovers the party's over for a visiting prince…

The days are getting shorter as summer's end approaches, which means it's time for the Harvest Festival, the last big event of the season, held by Mamie Fish, wife of millionaire railroad tycoon Stuyvesant Fish, at their grand "cottage," Crossways. The neocolonial mansion is decked out in artificial autumn splendor, and an extravagant scavenger hunt will be held. But the crowning jewel of the evening will be the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria.

As acting editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, Emma had hoped to leave her days as a society reporter behind her. But at the last moment, she must fill in and attend the Harvest Festival. With nearly every eligible daughter of Newport high society in attendance, Emma can almost hear romantic dreams shattering like glass slippers when the prince fails to appear. The next morning, he is found dead in the side garden at Crossways, making it clear a murderer crashed the party.

The prince has been stabbed in the same manner as another man, recently found on nearby Bailey's Beach—who strongly resembles Emma's half-brother Brady's father, presumed dead for nearly thirty years after a yachting mishap. As Emma investigates a connection between the two victims, she is joined on the hunt by Mamie Fish herself. But they must hurry—before the killer slips away like the fading summer….

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Connie’s Review:

Newport, Rhode Island - 1898

Cornelius Vanderbilt, II is being taken to the beach in his wheelchair. He had suffered a stroke 2 years ago, followed by several mini-strokes. Many of the wealthy families living in the area are enjoying the beach as well.

Emmaline (Emma) Cross, niece to the Vanderbilts, is with the family today. She is on the poor side of the family and had earned her living as a society journalist for the “Newport Observer.” Now, she is the editor-in-chief of the “Newport Messenger."

Many women are wearing woolen bathing costumes considered by some to be quite shocking for the time period. One woman in particular, Mrs. Lucy Clews, wife of the New York financier, Henry Clews, begins floundering in the water and some of the men go out and rescue her. At the same time, Emma hears some shouting further down the beach. Running to see what’s happening, she finds the body of a man who has just washed ashore and who looks just like her half-brother, Brady, She realizes with relief that it is not Brady, but an older man that looks similar to him. She wonders if it could be Brady’s father who went missing years ago. Detective Jesse Whyte of the Newport Police is investigating the find. He is also a dear friend of Emma’s.

Crossways is the home of Mamie Fish and has just been completed. Tonight, Mamie is hosting a Harvest Festival party. Emma is attending in her capacity to cover social events for the “Newport Messenger” and is simply observing from the sidelines. Prince Otto of Austria is reportedly to be attending as the guest of honor with many mothers hoping to match him with their daughters. But when he is delayed, people wonder if it’s all a hoax. But later, the Prince is found murdered in the garden, and another murder occurs a couple of days later. Emma soon finds herself investigating these deaths, along with the help of Mrs. Fish.

This is the seventh book of the Gilded Newport Mysteries Series by Alyssa Maxwell. I have enjoyed learning about the beautiful homes that housed some America’s very wealthy during the late 19th century. She has perfectly woven mysteries with each of the homes and the people who inhabited them. Her characters are well-created and true to the time period. I can’t say that these books could necessarily be stand-alone novels, as the characters could cause confusion as to who is who. However, the author does her best to do a brief explanation of how they fit into her life. Pay attention as you read this book to pick up the clues to see if you can solve the mystery before the end of the book. Enjoy.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

MURDER AT CROSSWAYS, a Gilded Newport Mysteries novel by Alyssa Maxwell, Kensington, available now in ebook, print, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks


Friday, August 9, 2019

SEEKERS OF THE PAST, book 1 by Amy Valentini on #SALE in celebration of National Book Lovers Day (Aug 9 - Aug 11)


SEEKERS OF THE PAST
Seekers of the Past, book 1
Amy Valentini

ON SALE for $1.99 in digital at
in celebration of
National Book Lovers Day
August 9th through August 11th!

Get Your Copy Now and Begin the Journey!

Journey to Where the Past Meets the Present and Love Lives Forever in the Seekers of the Past series…

Seeking the Past...
After inheriting the family farm, Emma Wells uncovers clues which might prove a one hundred and fifty year old family tale true but she needs help so contacts an old friend to assist…only the man who comes in his place is the last person she ever wanted to see again.

Seeking a Second Chance…
Sam Martinelli has been hoping for a reason to get close to the woman he still loves since he foolishly destroyed their relationship five years earlier. Now he’s hoping time spent with her will give him a second chance.

Uncovering Secrets...
When her suspicions prove to have substance, Sam agrees to help her even as he carries doubts. Being with him again causes Emma to question her heart and past as well as her foolish pride. When things take a dangerous turn, can she trust the man she trusts least—as well as her heart?

***Each book in this series can be read as a standalone historical romance with the first and sixth books set in the present.


I do hope you’ll read it and enjoy it.
Thank you.

Happy Reading Everyone!

For the Sake of Honor
In the Arms of Her Angel
To Love and Be Loved By Him 
are all still available to read for free at Kindle Unlimited

All are also available in print at Amazon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM, a Debutante Diaries novel by Anna Bennett

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. So to make up for my neglect, I will be offering up guest reviews for you enjoy. I hope to be back reviewing for you soon but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my dear friend, Connie Fischer’s reviews to guide you to good reads. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

I present to you a guest review of THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM, a Debutant Diaries novel by Anna Bennett, published July 30, 2019.


Blurb for THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM:


Once upon a time three young ladies vowed to record their first London seasons…and to fill in the gaps of their finishing school educations. Thus began The Debutante Diaries—and London will never be the same…

She’s a secret sensation.
Miss Lily Hartley is the anonymous mastermind behind the ton’s latest obsession: The Debutante’s Revenge, a tell-all advice column for young ladies. To keep her identity hidden, Lily delivers her columns disguised as a boy—which is well and good, until she lands in the middle of tavern brawl. As luck would have it, a devastatingly handsome duke sweeps in to rescue her.

He has no idea who she is.
Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, discovers there’s a beautiful woman hiding beneath a lad’s cap, and, before long, he’s falling for the delightfully clever stranger recuperating in his house. He vows to help her find her home, even though he’s reluctant to part with her. There’s only one problem…

Neither does she.
Lily has no idea who she is. She could be a duchess or maid. Betrothed or married. There’s only one thing she does know—that her attraction to Nash is more than skin-deep, and it grows stronger every day. While Lily and Nash search to find her true identity, they just might lose their hearts to each other...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Connie’s Review:

Miss Lily Hartley and her sister, Fiona Gray, the Countess of Ravenport, write a column along with sketches drawn by Fiona, It is posted in the London Hearsay and is entitled “The Debutante’s Revenge.” As Fiona is a newlywed, her husband wants to take her on a trip. That would leave Lily at home with just the servants but that is fine with her. To maintain total anonymity, Lily dresses as a boy when she delivers the column to the newspaper.

Eric Nash, the Duke of Stonebridge, lives with his younger sister, Delilah. He remains saddened at the death of his twin sister, Emily, and his father.

Today, Eric is in a pub nursing an ale when a young boy comes inside to escape the rain. When several rough men try to take the boy’s bag from him, Eric steps in and fights them off. In the fray, the young boy is knocked to the ground hitting his head and knocking him unconscious. When his hat falls off, it’s very apparent that this is a young woman and not a boy. Eric takes the young woman home with him. There, he enlists Delilah's help as he calls for a doctor. When the young woman awakens, she doesn’t remember who she is.

As she heals from her head wound, she and Delilah become friends and they decide to name her Caroline. Eric puts an ad in the paper trying to find out if someone is missing her.

As they wait for someone to “claim” her, Nash and Caroline spark an attraction that cannot be denied.

This story is a mix of wise and mature, and totally immature. The advice written to debutantes is well written and quite clever, but it doesn’t seem to come from the sometimes silly Caroline/Lily. The plot is good but both the hero and heroine needed to slow down their impulses.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM, a Debutante Diaries novel by Anna Bennett, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, available now in ebook, print, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of THE WORK OF ART by Mimi Matthews

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. So to make up for my neglect, I will be offering up guest reviews for you enjoy. I hope to be back reviewing for you soon but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my dear friend, Connie Fischer’s reviews to guide you to good reads. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

I present to you a guest review of THE WORK OF ART by Mimi Matthews, published July 23, 2019.


Blurb for THE WORK OF ART:


An Uncommon Beauty...

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it's caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland--a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke's clutches, she's going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero...

Captain Arthur Heywood's days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her--and her heart--in more danger than ever?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Connie’s Review:

London - 1814

Captain Arthur Heywood, the second son of the Earl of Gordon, is visiting at the home of Mr. Edgar Townsend, a well-known financier. Suddenly, several large dogs come running through the room, causing an uproar. Mr. Townsend’s niece, Phillida (Philly) Satterthwaite, age 23, owns the dogs and rushes in to corral them while apologizing profusely for the disturbance. Mr. Townsend inherited Philly’s home when her grandfather passed away, so he brought her to live with his sister and his daughters, Elizabeth, 24, and Abigail, 18. Philly had insisted that she must bring her dogs with her. She is soon to make her debut.

Arthur Heywood has to rely upon his cane to get around He had been severely injured in the war. When he returned home from the war, he found his fiancé had married someone else. Now, he swears he will never marry.

When Philly is out walking her dogs, she meets Arthur sitting on a bench. Realizing his limitations, she is very kind to him and they enjoy chatting.

Philly’s uncle, Mr. Townsend, has big ideas for her. As she has one blue eye and one hazel eye, she is sometimes called The Work of Art by the arrogant, cold, and cruel Duke of Moreland, also known as The Collector. He wants Philly but she has no interest in him. To get away from him, Philly accepts Arthur’s proposal to marry him. They then go to live at his home in the country. They are perfect together and Arthur even starts to open up more and his walking improves. Ah, but the Duke of Moreland doesn’t take rejection easily and soon the evil man rears his ugly head. Will they be able to have a happy and safe marriage?

This is a sweet, clean romance with a great hero and heroine, both able to show one another how devoted they are to the other. It made me smile to see their love and happiness. I think readers will love this book and I look forward to reading more by this favorite author of mine.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

THE WORK OF ART by Mimi Matthews, Perfectly Proper Press, available now in print and ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.