Monday, September 30, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of the thriller, 29 SECONDS by T. M. Logan

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!

***This one is a thriller rather than romance but I think you’ll enjoy hearing about it since it is very socially timely. I know I want to read this after reading Connie’s review. It sounds very edge of the seat. What would you do if you had this chance?

I present to you a guest review of 29 SECONDS by T. M. Logan, published September 10, 2019.

Blurb for 29 SECONDS:

Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear…

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid - in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don't they?

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

Connie’s Review:

Alan Hawthorne is hitting on Sarah Haywood in a cab taking them back to their hotel. A group of them are attending a conference. After dinner, they went out a get a cab. Alan had grabbed Sarah and pushed her into a taxi and took off leaving the others behind. When they get to the hotel, she is able to get away from him and breathes a sigh of relief.

Dr. Sarah Haywood has a good job at a university and is hoping to continue to prove herself and finally get a permanent position. Unfortunately, she is at the mercy of Professor Hawthorne who is a man who cannot keep his hands to himself. He literally preys on women, but the heads of the university look the other way because Alan is a charismatic man who brings in a lot of money to the university. He even has his own TV series. He is known as the Bulletproof Professor.

Sarah’s husband has left her and their two young children to take a break and find himself. Therefore, all the responsibility falls upon her. But she manages to get the children to school, teach her classes at the university, and get back to pick up the children from their after school program.

Driving home one day, Sarah sees a man and child on the sidewalk when a Mercedes in front of her purposely runs the man down and tries to kidnap the little girl. Before he can get to her, Sarah rams into him crushing his legs. Someone in the car takes a picture of her car and now she is afraid they will come after her for revenge.

Alan calls Sarah into his office and tells her that if she wants her promotion, she is going to have to play the game and have sex with him. Furious, she refuses and manages to get away from him.

When Sarah is purposely bypassed for a permanent position by Alan and the position goes to a man with much fewer qualifications and whom she had been mentoring, she is devastated.

One day she is grabbed and taken to a private place where she meets a man who is very wealthy. He is the father of the little girl she saved. He says that since she saved her, he wants to return the favor to Sarah. He tells her to give him the name of one person and he will make them disappear. She assures him that there is no one. But he gives her time to get back to him.

Sarah is faced with a serious decision to make. Could she be revengeful enough to get rid of the devil in her life? If so, could she then live with herself? What will she decide to do?

I have just described what is just the tip of the iceberg of this magnificent thriller. The author has presented to the reader how evil sexual predators can be to women and how many of them get away with it, especially if they have power and money. The author shows us the feelings of desperation and loneliness that victims of abuse feel and why many of them are left with their lives destroyed. I really loved this book and I know both women and men alike will enjoy it. I would like to see it become a movie.

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

29 SECONDS by T.M. Logan, St. Martin’s Press, available now in ebook, print, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

Friday, September 27, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of the Regency Christmas Collection, ALL HEARTS COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, featuring stories by Sarah M. Eden, Anita Stansfield, Esther Hatch, and Joanna Barker

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 ALL HEARTS COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, a Regency Christmas Collection featuring stories by Sarah M. Eden, Anita Stansfield, Esther Hatch, and Joanna Barker, published September 1, 2019.


Blurbs for ALL HEARTS COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS:

Christmas at Falstone Castle by Sarah M. Eden
The Dowager Duchess of Kielder eagerly anticipates spending Christmas with her son and his family. Though their relationship has been strained, the duchess is determined to heal the chasm. Even with the help of the widowed local vicar, her plan will take a Christmas miracle. But during this magical season, anything is possible . . . even two second chances for love.

The Heart of Christmas by Anita Stansfield
When a chance meeting brings together a gentle seamstress and a widowed banker, each lonely soul finds a first hint of hope. As their lives become entwined, it will take Christmas spirit to guide a broken family to love and healing.

’Tis the Season to Be Daring by Esther Hatch
Elizabeth Davenport has had quite enough of the London Season. Determined to evade a parade of unsuitable suitors, she seeks help from the one gentleman who has no regard for Society’s rules. All of Society knows Lord Hawthorne is not interested in marriage, yet he cannot deny Miss Davenport’s unique charm. And as the Christmas season works its magic, their charade begins to feel less like playacting and more like love.

The Christmas Dress by Joanna Barker
Seamstress Nell Addington is thrilled when her childhood friend Jacob Hammond commissions a dress for his sister. But when Nell realizes her feelings for Jacob run far deeper than friendship, an unexpected snowstorm—and some holiday cheer—may convince them both that love is worth fighting for.

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

Connie’s Review:

Christmas at Falstone Castle - Sarah M. Eden

Falstone Castle, Northumberland - 1785

Adam Boyce was just 7-years-old when his father died and he became the Duke of Kielder. His mother had been around most of his life and is packing to leave again. He had loved his father and they had been close. Adam is conscious of some scars on his face, but is assured by his nurse that he is not ugly.

Newcastle - 1816

Harriet Boyce, the dowager Duchess of Kielder, is thinking over her life. When she married her husband, it had been an arranged match. It has now been 30 years since she left Falstone Castle and her son, Adam. She regrets not seeing him since then. Adam is married and the father of 3-year-old, Oliver. Adam’s wife is Persephone and they are expecting another baby soon. Harriet wants to be there with them and show Adam the love she has not given him before. Adam is known to be gruff and has a temper, but his wife is kind and well liked.

Roswell Duncan is the vicar of Falstone parish. The vicar is surprised to learn that the Dowager is coming for Christmas. It has been a long time since he has seen her. The Duchess invites the vicar to stay at the castle for Christmas as he is a calming influence on Adam who is also known as the Dangerous Duke.

After she arrives at Falstone, Harriet decides to orchestrate a Christmas party for Persephone’s family. The party is a success and everyone is happy to be together. Harriet and the vicar have so much in common and an attraction sparks between them. When Persephone gives birth to a healthy baby girl on Christmas day, the family is so very happy. Could Harriet find a new love and new happiness with her son, Adam, his family, and the vicar?

I found this story to be heartbreaking, yet healing at the same time. The shame Harriet must feel for leaving her son all that time must be horrendous. She certainly has a lot of making up to do. Hopefully, she will find new happiness and forgiveness in her life. I really like Persephone because she has love and kindness in boundless amounts.

“The Heart at Christmas” - Anita Stansfield

London - 1820

Adelaide (Addie) Moore is hurrying to open the dressmakers shop where she works. Her employer, Miss Glade, has given her room and board in exchange for doing basic sewing for the woman.

A man walks in the shop asking her to sew a button on his coat. He introduces himself as Theodore (Theo) Hardwicke and he works at the local bank. Addie learns that he is a widower. As they chat, he offers her a job caring for his 9-year-old daughter, Becky, while keeping the house running. She will also be caring for his ailing aunt, Marla. She happily accepts the job and dives into running the house and catching up on some much-needed cleaning. She even enlists Becky’s help with setting the table and keeping her own room clean and neat.

But Addie sees that Theo, Becky, and Marla are all sad and she enlists Becky’s help again to find ways to make them all happy. When Theo’s wife died a few days after Becky’s birth just at Christmas, none of them have wanted to celebrate Christmas. So Addie finds ways to get them interested in doing so and they all find excitement in Christmas again. Will Addie and Theo find an attraction to one another and they all become a family?

A sweet Christmas story to show how while some people shun Christmas if it brings back memories, it can be overcome and joy can be returned to this special day.

“Tis the Season to be Daring” - Esther Hatch

London - 1814

Elizabeth Davenport, age 18, is being pressured to make a good impression on Lord Fagerlund who is said to be looking for a wife. Even though he is over age 40, he is a baron. With five daughters to marry off, her mother has become quite skilled in pinning down men to notice her daughters.

Unimpressed by Lord Fagerlund, Elizabeth manages to escape her mother’s hold and hurries to visit her friend, Fanny. There they discuss ways of getting out of the season. They also discuss Lord Hawthorne, an earl, who has a reputation for being a rake. Bravely, she marches to the man asking his help to be with her for a few days so that her mother will stop making her attend the balls. He agrees.

As they spend time together and he introduces her to his family, she realizes that he is the man she has waited for. They share a good sense of humor and before long, find themselves falling in love.

I liked this story and the characters of Elizabeth and Lord Hawthorne make the perfect couple.

“Christmas Dress” - Joanna Barker

Yorkshire - 1816

Nell Addington, age 23, working as a seamstress, is on her way to Oakhurst Park to meet with Mr. Jacob Hammond and his sister, Alice, age 17. Nell is the daughter of a vicar who passed away several years ago. Nell must work to help support her mother. Jacob’s father has recently passed away, thus necessitating his return from London. As the family is just out of mourning, Jacob wants Alice to have a whole new wardrobe. Having lost her mother early in life, Alice had lived with her cold and unloving father. Alice remembers Nell’s kindness to her when she was a child as she endeavored to put a smile on the young girl’s face.

Nell learns that Christmas has never been celebrated in the Hammond home due to her father’s tyranny. Now, Nell is encouraging her to change that. Nell suggests that Alice get a red silk gown for Christmas and Nell will happily make it for her. She agrees. Jacob is pleased that Nell and Alice have had such a nice meeting today.

When Nell comes to take more measurements, she gets caught in a snowstorm and must stay at Oakhurst Park for a couple of days for the roads to clear. There, they all get to know one another better. When Nell returns to work, her mean boss tells her to finish the dress quickly. Just as she is about to leave for Oakhurst to deliver the dress, she is delayed by a woman who has eyes for Jacob and Nell is unable to attend the Christmas Eve dinner as planned. Will there be a chance for Nell and Jacob to have a life together?

I loved this story and found it fun and thoughtful. Joanna Barker has quickly become a favorite author of mine.

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

ALL HEARTS COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, a Regency Christmas Collection featuring stories by Sarah M. Eden, Anita Stansfield, Esther Hatch, and Joanna Barker, Covenant Communications, available now in ebook, print, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

Monday, September 23, 2019

Spotlight for the Blog Tour of WHEN THE MARQUESS WAS MINE, a Wagers of Sin novel by Caroline Linden with #excerpt



 WHEN THE MARQUESS WAS MINE


A Wagers of Sin novel
by
Caroline Linden

Releasing September 24, 2019 and 
available for pre-order now
at





In the game of love…

Georgiana Lucas despises the arrogant and cruel Marquess of Westmorland even before learning that he’s won the deed to her friend Kitty’s home in a card game. Still, Georgiana assures Kitty the marquess wouldn’t possibly come all the way to Derbyshire to throw them out—until he shows up, bloody and unconscious. Fearing that Kitty would rather see him die, Georgiana blurts out that he’s her fiancĂ©. She’ll nurse the hateful man back to health and make him vow to leave and never return. The man who wakes up, though, is nothing like the heartless rogue Georgiana thought she knew…

You have to risk it all

He wakes up with no memory of being assaulted—or of who he is. The bewitching beauty tending him so devotedly calls him Rob and claims she’s his fiancĂ©e even as she avoids his touch. Though he can’t remember how he won her hand, he’s now determined to win her heart. But as his memory returns and the truth is revealed, Rob must decide if the game is up—or if he’ll take a chance on a love that defies all odds.

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

Excerpt:

Chapter One

1819

It was to be a bacchanal for the ages.
As Heathercote remarked, a man only turned twenty-nine once. Marlow pointed out that a man also only turned twenty-eight, or thirty, once as well, but they were well used to ignoring Marlow’s odd points of reason, and this one was promptly forgotten.
Heathercote planned the entire affair, inviting the most dashing, daring rogues and scoundrels in London. He declared it to be the invitation of the month, and that he’d turned away several fellows for lacking wit, style, or both. “You mean they aren’t up to your standard of mayhem,” said Westmorland, whose birthday it was, to which Heathercote mimed tipping his hat in acknowledgment.
After a raucous dinner at White’s, they decamped for the theater. The production was well under way when they invaded the pit in search of amusement. By the time the show ended, they had drunk a great deal of brandy, thrown oranges at the stage, and lost Clifton to the company of a prostitute.
Everyone’s memories ran a bit ragged after that, with vague recollections of singing in the streets and Marlow casting up his accounts somewhere in Westminster, but eventually they settled at the Vega Club. It was so late, the manager tried to dissuade them from play. Mr. Forbes knew every one of them could wager for hours, and the Vega Club closed its doors at dawn.
But Heathercote persuaded him to let them in and to give them the whist salon all to themselves. “We’ll leave by noon,” he promised, patting Forbes on the chest as he slid a handful of notes into the man’s hand. His words were remarkably steady for a man who’d been drinking for eight hours. Grim-faced, Forbes let them in, where they commandeered the main table and called for yet more wine.
A few intrepid souls followed them from the club proper. Forbes tried to stop them at the door, but Forester recognized one and waved them in. “We don’t mind winning their money,” he said with a hiccup.
They played whist, then switched to loo. One loser was dared to drink off the contents of his full flask in one go, which he did. The room filled with cigar smoke and ribald language, and the wagers grew extravagant. Marlow won a prize colt off Forester. Heathercote wagered his new phaeton and ended up with someone’s barouche. Sackville won the largest pot of the night, and everyone pelted him with markers.
And then one of the hangers-on spoiled it. He had the look of a country fellow new to London, with an arrogant bluster that was initially amusing but eventually turned annoying. He’d played well enough, winning a bit and losing with colorful curses that made the rest of them roar with laughter. But it became abruptly clear that Sir Charles Winston was in over his head when he wagered his house.
Marlow laughed. Heathercote picked up the scribbled note Winston had put forth and read it with one brow arched. “Can’t wager property, Winslow.”
The man was already ruddy from drink, and now he turned scarlet. “Can so! Your fellow wagered a horse.”
“Horses are portable,” said Forester, his Liverpool accent bleeding through. “Houses are not.”
“Houses are worth more!”
“Aye, too much more.” Heathercote flicked the note back across the table. “Markers.”
“I haven’t got any more markers,” muttered the younger man. For a moment everyone focused in surprised silence on the empty space in front of him. None of them had run out.
“Then fold your hand,” Forester told him. “You’re out!”
Winston’s chin set stubbornly. His mate tried to slide some markers toward him, but he angrily shoved them back. “Give me a chance to win it back.”
“All the more reason to walk away, if you’ve lost ‘em all.” Marlow waved one hand, nearly toppling out of his seat. Mr. Forbes, watching grimly from the corner, came forward. “Forbes, Windermere is done.”
“Sir Charles,” murmured the manager. “Perhaps it’s time to go.”
“Not yet!” Winston scowled at them all, shaking off his friend’s quiet attempts to get him to fold. “Not now, Farley! They got a chance to turn their luck. Why shouldn’t I?”
“Luck is like the wind,” said a new voice. Nicholas Dashwood, the owner of the Vega Club, stepped out of the shadows. “It rarely turns propitiously.”
Winston stubbornly sank lower in his seat. “I deserve ‘nother chance.”
Heathercote slung his arms over the back of his chair. “Well, West? What say you? Shall we let him stay and wager away everything he’s got?”
Lounging in his seat, the Marquess of Westmorland looked up in irritation. “Really ought to go, Winsmore.”
“Wins-less, more like,” snickered Marlow.
Winston sat up straighter in his seat. “Please, my lord.”
“Oh, let him ruin himself,” muttered Forester, shuffling his cards restlessly.
The marquess lifted one shoulder. “Damned if I care.”
“Sir Charles,” said Dashwood evenly, “do not wager what you cannot afford to lose.”
Winston scooped up the scribbled paper and added a line, signing his name with a flourish. “I won’t, sir.”
But he did. Within four hands, he’d won a bit and then lost it all—including the deed. Suddenly he did not look so belligerent or so stubborn. He looked young and quite literally green, staring at the winning hand, lying on the table.
“Should have listened,” said the unsympathetic Heathercote. “Should have left.”
Winston puffed up furiously. “Should have known better than to play with the likes of you!”
“Di’n’t y’know that before you sa’ down?” Marlow’s words slurred together. “Stupid bloody fool!”
“That’s my home!”
“And you risked it at loo!” Heath made a derisive noise. “Idiot.”
Winston was the color of beets. “Don’t call me that.”
Sackville raised one brow. “No? ’S not your home anymore.” He reached out and plucked the scrawled paper from the pile of markers and examined it, although his eyes never quite managed to focus on it. “It ‘pears to be West’s.”
His friends howled with laughter. “He doesn’t need it,” cried Winston. He made a convulsive grab for the paper before his lone remaining friend caught his arm. “He’s got a dozen houses!”
“Set it up as a brothel, West,” suggested Forester. “And give all your mates discounted fees.”
“Free!” yelped Marlow with a wheezing laugh.
Winston drew a furious breath, but instead of continuing the fight he turned and rushed from the room, rather unsteadily; he wrestled with the door, and then almost tripped on his way out, causing more howls of laughter from the table. His friend helped him back onto his feet before the door closed on them both.
“Who invited him?” asked Heathercote in disdain.
“Marlow.”
“Ballocks,” mumbled Marlow, putting his head down on the table. “Never did. Was Forester.”
Forester made a rude gesture. “I vouched for the other man, Farley.”
“Your friends are all bad ton,” said Sackville.
Forester’s face tightened. He rose and swung his wineglass into the air in a toast, spilling some. “Thank you all for a most exciting evening, gentlemen.” Pointedly he bowed only to Viscount Heathercote and Lord Westmorland. Sackville repaid him with a rude gesture at Forester’s back.
Heathercote protested, but Forester waved him off and left. With Marlow asleep on the table and Sackville still giggling drunkenly to himself, Westmorland placed his hands on the table, hesitated as if gathering strength, then heaved himself to his feet. “The carriages, Dashwood.”
Stone-faced, the owner left. Westmorland surveyed the table. “Did I win the last?”
“Aye,” said Heathercote with a wide yawn.
“Credit it all, Forbes,” said the marquess. “God above, I’m tired.”
As expressionless as his employer, the manager stepped forward. With an air of distaste, he picked up the deed promise and held it out. “I cannot credit this, my lord.”
West stared at it. “Damn. Right.” He stuffed it into the pocket of his jacket and staggered out into the morning sunlight with Heathercote, never guessing the trouble that wagered deed was about to cause him.


About the Author:

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer code before discovering that writing fiction was far more fun. Since then, the Boston Red Sox have won the World Series three FOUR times, which is not related but still worth mentioning. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages, and have won the NEC-RWA Reader's Choice Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, the NJRW Golden Leaf Award, and RWA's RITA Award. She lives in New England.


WHEN THE MARQUESS WAS MINE, a Wagers of Sin novel by Caroline Linden, Avon Romance, available September 24, 2019 in ebook, print, and audio.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE, a Candlelight Regency Special novel by Dorothy Mack

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 SUBSTITUTE BRIDE, a Candlelight Regency Special novel by Dorothy Mack, originally published in 1977 and republished August 14, 2019.

Blurb for THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE:

Angelica Wayne was in a most devilish dilemma! It began when she was forced to take a post as a governess to Lord Giles Weston's motherless daughter. It grew more difficult when Angelica lost her heart to this dazzling viscount who once had been wed to the reigning beauty of the realm and now was linked with the most desirable lady of the London season.

Angelica was resigned to forever masking her feelings until Giles made a proposal that might be the answer to her wildest dreams. Sure of Angelica's indifference to him, Giles asked her to be his wife in name only, with each of them free to lead separate lives. Thus only by living a lie could Angelica keep the only man she had ever wanted, as this spirited Regency heroine staked all her happiness on a man who was afraid to love!

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

Connie’s Review:

Angelica Wayne, 23, and her widowed mother first came to live at Wroxham Court when Angelica was 5. William had taken her under his wing and looked out for her as if she was a younger sister. Angelica was given a season in London but just wanted to be back in the country where she has been happiest. Now, he is married to Charlotte who resents her presence in their home. Her mother has now passed away, and with no relatives, no dowry, and no means of support, she has decided to accept a position as a governess.

Lord Giles Weston is in need of a governess for his daughter Jenny, age 8, and in addition, will teach Italian to his sister who will soon have her first season. She will also accompany her to her events. Giles is a widower and soon to marry Lady Barbara Darlington. Angelica remembers the man when he visited Wroxham Court years ago when she was a small girl. She had a crush on him then. He was a happy man too. But when she meets him to interview for this job, she is surprised to find a man who appears to be angry and morose. She wonders what happened to the nice man he once was.

Angelica finds that Lady Barbara does not show affection for Giles and neither does he for her. Angelica has a good friendship with Lydia and Jenny likes her too. Before long, Angelica realizes that she has fallen in love with Giles and knows she cannot remain there and watch him and Lady Barbara together. When she tells Giles she must leave to care for an ailing family member, she learns that Lady Barbara has just married someone else. Angelica then agrees to help with canceling the wedding plans, but Giles asks her to marry him to which she is hesitant. He wants a marriage of convenience and a marriage in name only. Reluctant to accept, she finally agrees. Now that she is to be a substitute bride, is there any way that they can have a happy marriage?

This was certainly a different plot. Angelica comes across as a delicate young lady but one who seems to know what she wants in life. I felt sorry for her, yet rather surprised that she would accept the way Giles treated her. I really liked Lydia and Jenny. Two well-written characters. I’m sure readers will enjoy this novel.

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

THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE, a Candlelight Regency Special novel by Dorothy Mack, Sapere Books, available now in ebook and print at Amazon, and Kindle Unlimited. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of THE MARQUIS SHE'S BEEN WAITING FOR, a Marriage Game novel by Ella Quinn

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 MARQUIS SHE’S BEEN WAITING FOR, a Marriage Game novel by Ella Quinn, published September 3, 2019.


Blurb for THE MARQUIS SHE’S BEEN WAITING FOR:

Lady Dorcus Calthorp, daughter of the Marquis of Huntington, loved and lost during her first Season, leaving her suspicious of gentlemen. Now Dorie finds herself with no marital prospects in sight—until Alexander, the newly elevated Marquis of Exeter, arrives in town. Handsome, charming, and an interesting conversationalist, he at first seems to be her perfect match. Then Dorie discovers he may not be seeking a wife so much as a land steward and mother to his sisters…

After learning of his father's death, Alexander returns home to find his mother has run off with his land steward, leaving his younger sisters with their governesses. The most expedient solution is a wife who will take the household and estate in hand while he assumes his role in parliament. Lady Dorie meets all the requirements—until she makes a surprising proposal. Instead of marrying Alexander, she will tutor him in his duties, freeing him to find his heart's match. Yet the more Dorie teaches him, the more he longs to change their course of study—to love. And with the end of the Season nearing, he doesn't have much time...

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

Connie’s Review:

Alexander (Alex), the Marquis of Exeter, is sitting with his sisters, Lady Phillida Endicott, age 14, and Lady Penelope Endicott, age 16. They are enjoying tea. Alex has just returned from Paris and is now learning to take over his duties of the Marquis now that his father has passed away. He is the guardian of his two sisters. His mother has married the new Earl of Portmore and they have left for Scotland. Alex’s two older sisters are unable to care for their younger sisters as they have other pressing family matters to attend to. So, it all falls on Alex’s shoulders.

Lady Dorie Huntington is a neighbor of the family and has been helping care for the girls until Alex arrived. Dorie is the daughter of the Marquis of Huntington.

Alex knows nothing about running the estate and now has to learn quickly. He calls upon Dorie and her mother to thank them for their help with his sisters. Dorie had had a bad experience with another man and is shy of wanting a relationship, but she is quite taken with Alex’s looks as he is of hers.

Dorie begins to explain a lot about estate management to Alex and he is amazed at her knowledge. She thinks she needs to introduce him to young ladies to help him find a wife. But, he wants to marry Dorie, but she’s not interested in marrying him. Determined to win her love, Alex does all he can to prove to her how much he cares.

I have read a number of Ella Quinn’s books and find that she introduces a LOT of characters from her other books. This plot tended to get bogged down with extra characters and their stories. The end result always ends in a HEA, but I hope that future books will edit out the unnecessary “stuff”.

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

THE MARQUIS SHE’S BEEN WAITING FOR, a Marriage Game novel by Ella Quinn, Lyrical Press, available now in ebook and print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

Monday, September 9, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a Lady Travelers Society novel by Victoria Alexander

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 LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a Lady Travelers Society novel by Victoria Alexander, published August 27, 2019.

Blurb for THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER:

Before there was a Lady Travelers Society, there was just one lady traveler…

Some marry for love. Some marry for money. But Violet Hagen’s quick wedding to irresponsible James Branham, heir to the Earl of Ellsworth, was to avoid scandal.

Though her heart was broken when she learned James never wanted marriage or her, Violet found consolation in traveling the world, at his expense—finding adventure and enjoying an unconventional, independent life. And strenuously avoiding her husband.

But when James inherits the earldom it comes with a catch—Violet. To receive his legacy he and Violet must live together as husband and wife, convincing society that they are reconciled. It’s a preposterous notion, complicated by the fact that Violet is no longer the quiet, meek woman he married. But then he’s not the same man either.

Chasing Violet across Europe to earn her trust and prove his worth, James realizes with each passing day that a marriage begun in haste may be enjoyed at leisure. And that nothing may be as scandalous—or as perfect—as falling hopelessly in love. Especially with your wife.

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Connie’s Review:

London - 1882

Richard Branham, the Earl of Ellsworth, age 72, is preparing to speak to his nephew and heir, James Branham. James had come to live with his uncle when he was 9-years-old after his parents had died. It appears that James who was engaged to Marie, was caught kissing Violet on the terrace during a ball. Now, he is married to Violet, but confesses to his uncle that he is not ready for marriage. As he admits this, he is overheard by Violet herself. He also says he thinks they should go their separate ways. Deeply hurt, Violet lashes out at James. She refuses to move into a house of her own and Lord Ellsworth insists she remain at Ellsworth House. But she says she wants to travel and never wants to see James again.

London - Six years later

Back in London Violet meets up with James at a ball. He is now the new Earl of Ellsworth since his uncle passed away. Richard’s will stated that for James to inherit all of his properties, he and Violet must live together for 3 years. They must be seen together looking happy at least 3 times a week and there must be no scandal about either of them. To make sure his strict rules are followed, 3 elderly women, one of whom Richard loved, come to be with and watch them.

James soon finds that Violet is no longer the quiet, biddable young woman he married some years ago. She is now independent, outspoken, and knows what she wants from life. They are determined to fulfill Richard’s requests.

Violet had loved traveling all those years and James doesn’t care for it, even getting sick when on a ship. But they go to Italy and Greece and he is amazed at how Violet knows so many people and speaks the language. Will they learn to become friends and have a true marriage?

Violet loves art but James couldn’t care less. However, I did have to laugh at some of his snarky comments about art in general.

This is a good book and I enjoyed the plot, but it was WAY too long, to the point that it became repetitive and almost boring. It should have been cut back quite a lot.

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



THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a Lady Travelers Society novel by Victoria Alexander, Harlequin, available now in ebook, print, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of NEVER HAVE I EVER WITH A DUKE, a Spitfire Society novel by Darcy Burke

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 NEVER HAVE I EVER WITH A DUKE, a Spitfire Society novel by Darcy Burke, published August 27, 2019.


Blurb for NEVER HAVE I EVER WITH A DUKE:

Meet the smart, independent women who've decided they don't need Society's rules, their families' expectations, or, most importantly, a husband. But just because they don't need a man doesn't mean they might not want one...

Graham Kinsley is shocked when he inherits a debt-ridden dukedom, and now he has just one month to repay a loan. He needs an heiress—or find a way to recoup the former duke's losses. When he meets the alluring Arabella, he's entranced. Unfortunately, she's as bankrupt as he is, but if they work together they may be able to recover their fortunes. Though if they keep stealing kisses, they may lose their hearts instead.

Arabella Stoke can't afford an attraction to the penniless duke who has vowed to help rescue her family from financial devastation. She needs to find a wealthy husband before her father succumbs to the stress of losing everything. However, as Graham brings them closer to finding the swindler who stole their money, the war between what they want and what they need may ruin them both.

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Connie’s Review:

London - 1819

Arabella Stoke’s father is not well and their family’s financial circumstances have dropped significantly. Her father had made an unwise investment with a man and now finds himself swindled out of all of his money. Her mother spends a lot of time at her husband’s bedside.

When Arabella is out walking her mother’s dog one morning, he gets away from her. Running after him results in her accidentally knocking into a gentleman. She is dressed as a servant so people won’t know that she is reduced to walking her own dog. The gentleman she ran into very kindly helps her look for and find the dog.

Arabella is finding it difficult to be without money. She had loved being part of the Spitfire Society which is a group of young spinster women who prefer to stay single, live in a home of their own and live life as they want. Her two friends, Phoebe Lennox and Jane Pemberton are happy in their lives as young spinster women.

Arabella’s mother is urging her to find a wealthy man and get married right away as the family needs the money. That is certainly easier said than done.

Graham Kinsley, the seventh Duke of Halstead, inherited a pile of debt along with his title. Halstead Manor is not bringing in any money and the mortgage on Brixton Park, just outside London, will soon be foreclosed on. The previous duke had made some very bad investments and after going through the paperwork he left behind, it appears he had been swindled out of his money. Therefore, Graham has no other option but to marry an heiress.

Graham and Arabella meet again at a ball and she confides about her father. He confides that he, too, is poor. No matter, they are attracted to one another. Graham knows that without selling Brixton Park, he won’t have any money with which to fix up and keep Halstead Manor. He wants Arabella to have a good life and knows he cannot offer her much.

Graham has learned that the man who swindled the previous duke and also Arabella’s father, along with countless others is Piers Tibbord. Now, Graham has made it his mission to find this man and make him return the monies that he stole from people. However, he only wishes he had the money to offer for Arabella.

I really liked this story. Both Arabella and Graham are strong people and make a wonderful couple. Boo-Hiss to the man who swindled money from all those people. However, those people were stupid to fall for his get rich quick schemes. I wanted to plant my foot in Arabella’s father’s butt for lying in bed wasting away at his stupidity with his wife and daughter waiting on him. Gah! Get up and be a man! Take charge and get your money back, weakling! I guess my comments prove that the author’s story got my ire up! Well done, Darcy Burke!

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

NEVER HAVE I EVER WITH A DUKE, a Spitfire Society novel by Darcy Burke, indie pub, available now in ebook and print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks