Review – The Way to the Duke’s Heart by Caroline Linden

The Way to a Duke's Heart (The Truth About the Duke, #3)The Way to a Duke’s Heart by Caroline Linden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charles de Lacey, Lord Gresham, is running out of time, running from his responsibilities, and running from love.

Destined to be a duke, Charles de Lacey has led a life of decadent pleasure, free of any care for propriety or responsibility. It comes as a terrible shock to learn that he might be stripped of everything, thanks to his father’s scandalous past. He has no choice but to find the blackmailer who would ruin him—and his only link to the villain is a woman who may be part of the plot…

To save his fortune and title, he vows he’ll stop at nothing—in fact, he’s all too eager to unravel the beautiful, tart-tongued Tessa Neville. She intrigues him and tempts him like no other lady ever has. With only his heart to guide him, and keenly aware that his entire future is at stake, Charles must decide: is she the woman of his dreams, or an enemy in disguise?

A charming and touching end to a The Truth about the Duke series with witty and fun characters you have come to expect. Caroline Linden has created another set of characters that are easy to relate to and have you cheering them through out the entire book.

Charles de Lacey is an unforgiven rake and scoundrel. He has spent the last eleven years proving to his family just how worthless he could be. Now with the issue of his inheritance and title, unceremoniously dumped into his lap, he must solve the problem all on his own, something he isn’t sure he can do.

Tessa Neville spends each day making up for a rash incident in her past. While she wishes she handled the situation differently, she has no regrets over the outcome. She is the last woman to be taken in by a charming scoundrel and is rightly suspicious of Charlie’s attention to her. Her forthright and confident demure is refreshing despite her seeing it as an enormous flaw.

Like the previous novels, Charlie and Tessa teach each other how their perceived weaknesses make them the person each loves. In this series, each heroine and hero and to overcome weakness/flaw within themselves in order find their happily ever after and this couple was no different. But, for Tessa and Charlie, their journey was longer and much harder/emotional. It is hard enough to ask forgiveness of others, but almost impossible to forgive yourself. But it is the journey of discovering that they are more than their past and that they are able to move on that allows them to embrace their future. Ms. Linden does this with emotional and moving scenes, especially with Charlie’s self discovery.

As for Charlie and Tessa together, who ever knew that writing a letter and getting a cup of coffee could be so erotic.

View all my reviews

Come check out my review of The Rogue Countess by Amy Sandas @ A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet

Limecello: www.TartSweet.com

Erin’s Review:

Book CoverThe Rogue Countess by Amy Sandas
Historial romance released by Samhain Publishing on July 24, 2012

A passion neither of them wanted…and neither can deny.

Anna Locke was once young, naïve and infatuated with the handsome Jude Sinclair. Until the charismatic “gentleman” showed his true colors by abandoning her on their wedding day.

In the years since, she has transformed herself into a confident, successful woman, independent of her errant husband’s aristocratic family in every way but name. When Jude unexpectedly returns demanding a divorce, she quashes the butterflies he still elicits, and resolves to show him she won’t be so easily cast aside.

Jude has come home to assume the responsibilities left to him upon his father’s death, and to finally end the marriage into which he was tricked. To his surprise, Anna is no longer an awkward, skinny girl with a furtive gaze. She has become…

View original post 752 more words

My Ruthless Prince Review – Gaelen Foley

My Ruthless Prince (Inferno Club, #4)My Ruthless Prince by Gaelen Foley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Inferno Club: To London Society, they’re notorious for their scandalous pursuits. In private, these warriors would risk their lives for king and country. 

His brother warriors fear the Earl of Westwood has turned traitor, but Emily Harper knows this is impossible for the man she has loved since childhood . . . as impossible as a marriage between them could ever be—she, the gamekeeper’s daughter and he, a bold and adventurous nobleman.

Driven by hatred and revenge, Westwood is playing a deadly game of deception, bent on destroying the enemy’s dark conspiracy from the inside, and he’s furious when Emily plunges herself into danger for his sake. Forced into close quarters, their long-suppressed desire explodes into all-consuming passion.

Emily knows her love can save him . . . but Westwood is a man who doesn’t want to be saved.

I finally got to this book (thank you RNG). It is an excellent addition to the inferno club series. Picking up where the previous book left off, Drake has returned to the bad guys. The order is unsure of his loyalties and how dangerous he is to them. Emily, though, is certain that she can bring Drake home, not just to protect him, but to heal him from what he has endured.

Emily is not your typical innocent miss. She is brave, strong, well aware of most of the danger she is in, and steadfast in her love for Drake. Emily is determined not to let him become a truly evil man. She believes that by staying by his side she will always be able to bring him back from the brink. She is no milk and water miss. She is able to track Drake from England to Germany, with little money and knowing none of the languages. She really is perfect to heal a broken Drake. She is able to withstand the darkness within him and steadfast enough to lead him out.

Our tortured hero is playing a dangerous game with no plan for survival. Drake sees himself as done with this world. His body and mind have been broken and he has nothing left to live for except revenge. In some ways he feels that he does not deserve the purity of Emily’s love because of all the bad things he has done in the name of good. And he is very good at his game. He keeps everyone wondering which side he is truly on through most of the book. Even as the reader, knowing where he lies, there are times he is tempted by the power of the dark side, to try to lead them along a better path by ultimately destroying all the ideals within himself.

I really liked this book because of how well Ms. Foley portrayed the inner turmoil that the characters had to deal with (and not just Emily and Drake). Each had to face unspeakable and egregious acts and decisions, which mirror those many small acts and decisions that a person must face each day. Do we turn a blind eye or do we say something. Do we stand by or get involved. Do we love a person destroying themselves or do we walk away But in the end, the real question is are we strong enough to love and trust a person, to do something we know may lose us everything, in order to uphold the ideals and great good that they stood for. It is the hard decisions that have to be made and how Drake and Emily find a way to survive within those decisions that really make this story.

As for the romance, it is a not a book where the hero/heroine finally fall in love. Drake and Emily have been in love for a long time. They just finally needed the right push to make them act upon it. The threat of death is far greater then the threat of her father losing his job. They both rely on the other’s feelings to get through the desperate situation they are in. Each, in their own way, manipulates the other to try to achieve their goal. It is not the evil manipulation that our lovely bad guys like to play, but rather that subtle manipulation we use everyday to steer our loved ones in a better direction and to keep them safe. In the end, they build the trust needed between the two of them to allow the book to go out with a bang.

I am very much looking forward to the next book (Beau’s) and am very glad to hear that there will be an additional infernal club trilogy to follow after that

View all my reviews

Review: Death Comes to Pemberly

Death Comes to Pemberly
Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As a fan of Pride and Prejudice adaptations and spin off, I have read many of these types of novels. I was unimpressed with this novel, so much that I am not even going to do an in-depth review.  The book simply isn’t worth it.  . I felt the author did a disservice to Austin’s characters. They lacked personality and the entire book was one person after another worrying over something. The characters were bland, uninspired, and unremarkable.

The book also felt very fragmented to me and never allowed me to get into a smooth reading groove. I found the plot to be more like reading a newspaper report of an event rather than a novel. The author made an attempt to play off both pride (Wickham’s, Denny’s and the Colonel’s) and prejudice (everyone’s bias in regards to Wickham) but it just fails.

There are far better adaptations and spin offs than this one. Unless you feel the need to read all of them, take a pass on this one.

View all my reviews

 

For a different view on the book check out

Review: The Revenge of Lord Eberlin

The Revenge of Lord Eberlin
The Revenge of Lord Eberlin by Julia London
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Returning to Hadley Green after fifteen years, the young Lord Eberlin has but one goal in mind: to avenge the death of his father. But when he is reunited with the beautiful target of his smoldering wrath, his plans take an unexpected turn. . . .

Tobin Scott has not been back to Hadley Green since Lily Boudine’s childhood testimony helped send his father to the gallows for stealing the valuable Ashwood jewels. Now a wealthy man, he intends to exact his revenge by destroying Ashwood and its lady. He offers Lily a choice between her life and the livelihoods of the people who depend on the estate. She chooses the former, certain she can hold his dangerous plans at bay.

Lily and Tobin’s game of one-upmanship quickly becomes a delicate dance of seduction, and she realizes he is not the cold, heartless man he tries to seem. In fact, she is certain he is right—his father was innocent. Together, they set out to find the jewels that will restore his family’s honor, and soon their unbridled passion uncovers a shocking secret that will change their lives forever.

Having read the previous two books in this series, I was excited to return back to Hadley Glenn and the mystery of the missing necklace.

We pick shortly where the last book leaves off and our introduction to Lily Boudine. I was a bit disappointed in Lily. She’s a selfish creature whom steps into the mess she jointly made with her cousin, but unable to understand how her inability to take control over her own life led to this problem. She is a reactionary character who needs someone else to do something to react to, which is why she languishes in regards to her dilemma over Ashwood’s ruination. Lily is a fairly flat heroine who lacks that emotional spark that was present in the women of the first two books in this series. Despite that flaw, she still makes a good counter blanace to the hero.

Lord Eberlin, better known in Hadley Green as Tobin Scott, is the son of the infamous jewel thief hung in Hadley Green some 20 years ago. Due to his family’s dishonor, he is an extremely driven man. By pulling himself out of poverty and into the realm of the rich, he has devised a plan to destroy Ashwood and specifically the girl who’s testimony got his father hung. While Lily is a reactionary character, Tobin is proactive driver of this story. He moves, Lily reacts, which is why the two work well as a couple.

This story is really about the hero and heroine forgiving not only each other for old acts well beyond their control, but forgiving themselves for the parts they played in it. Tobin has a hard time accepting that his father was not the man he wanted him to be, while Lily has to confront the upsetting and confusing memories Ashwood provokes.

I would have liked to see Lily be a bit feistier to match Tobin’s blinded devotion to destroying her. But she comes through at the right moments with a spine of steel without the wilting you might expect of a conservative character.

And the romance is wobbly during the courtship, until Tobin is able to move past the anger driving him and embrace the fact that Lily did not do anything wrong. Once he makes that decision, you see all his passion for destroying her turn to loving her, including an amazing idea to show his love which I would just adore having myself! And no I won’t give it away, but I will say it is mystical, fun and something that will stand for their love for a long time.

My one big complaint is that the plot of the stolen jewels really gets lost in this series. While we do get another new twist at the end (which in my mind answers what happened to the jewels) I would have liked to see this twist developed sooner in the story to at least introduce the new characters for the next book.

View all my reviews

Review: A Week to Be Wicked

A Week to Be Wicked
A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Week to Be Wicked is the 2nd novel of her Spinster’s cover series. The story revolves around Geology minded Minerva and Colin, Victor’s (from A Night to Surrender) ne’er-do-well cousin.

We first met Minerva in A Night to Surrender. She is the middle child and the bane of her mother. To understand Minerva you must understand her position in the family. She is the intelligent one, focused more on knowledge then appearance. She also hides many of her talents in order not to overshadow her older sister, whom her mother feels their future security relies on catching a good husband. But she does so because deep down she wants her sister to be the star and because Minerva, like many bookish types, suffers from some social anxiety. It is easier for her to unnoticed then deal with the personal stress of someone, especially someone like Colin, turning their attention onto her. The one place she lets herself shine is in her geology. In that field, she is determined and unwilling to allow anything to stop her from achieving her geological dreams.

Colin was also first introduced in A Night to Surrender. At that time Victor left him stranded in Spinster’s Cove, without access to any funds. Victor is hoping that spending time there will mature Colin and bring him out of his self deprecating behavior. But the source of Colin’s behavior is the great tragedy he suffered in his childhood. Like Minerva trying to hide from social stress, Colin’s lackadaisical behavior and refusal to engage in close relationships is his way of not having to face any strong emotion. While he does not get to love or be happy, he also does not have to deal with loss again. Colin is a touching hero who’s childhood nightmares make you want to help him heal.

It has been a long time since I have laughed so heartily throughout a book. Minerva and Colin’s banter is wickedly funny and includes everything from names in the bible to dirty mathematical terms. The geek in me was thrilled to have a heroine whom most recognized as highly intelligent and a hero who worked hard to hide his. Like Minerva, I found Colin’s hidden intelligence to be a bright plus which mixed with his humor and charm makes him irresistible.

Even better, Ms. Dare was able to keep up the touching humor throughout the course of the book. As Minerva and Colin heal each other, they began to place the needs of the other above themselves. They are both willing to set aside the things they want the most in order to give the other what they want. It is this true support that finally heals Colin’s wounds and cements their happily ever after.

This book and really this series is one not to miss. The diversity and depths of the characters is excellent and they feel so real. You can easily imagine yourself living among them in your day job.

View all my reviews

Review: How to Ravish a Rake

How to Ravish a Rake
How to Ravish a Rake by Vicky Dreiling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SCANDALOUS DESIRES . . .

Amy Hardwick has one last Season to shake off her wallflower image and make a love match. If she can’t, she’ll set aside her dreams of romance and return home to a suitor who can provide security-if little else. What she doesn’t count on is the inappropriate-and irresistible-attention lavished on her in a darkened library by rake extraordinaire Will “The Devil” Darcett . . .

DEVILISH DELIGHT

When Will is caught in a tryst with the tons shyest miss, he knows he must offer for her hand. Yet Amy is not the shrinking violet she seems to be. Passion lies beneath her prim exterior and Will is eager to release it. But winning Amy isn’t simply a matter of seduction; first, Will must convince her that he’s mended his wicked ways

This is the third book in Vicky Dreiling’s inaugural How To series featuring Hawk’s brother Will and Amy (from the first 2 books). I did receive my copy as an ARC from the author.

Amy happens to be my favorite of Ms. Dreiling’s three heroines so far. She is an introverted thinker who must deal with a lot of social anxiety. This leaves her tongue tied in social situations and confused in larger crowds, which explains the idea that she is aloof, first mentioned in Duke. Amy is the type of heroine that many women can relate to. While insecure, she is strong enough to face it and begin to overcome it. She does so by using her natural talent as a way to move past her anxiety and relate to people, especially the ladies of the ton.

William, Hawk’s younger brother, has been living his life on the run from his family. He keeps his exploits public and is as charming as possible as a way of garnering attention, especially from his family. Will is like many overlooked children where any attention, even for bad behavior, is welcome. But he is conflicted because he fears his family’s intervention and disapproval due to his anger at them. Instead of confronting his family with his feelings, he prefers to stay away. This becomes impossible when Hawk cuts off his allowance and Will makes a major mistake in trying to garner funds. Despite his family issues, he is loyal, steadfast, and honorable.

Will and Amy’s story is endearing and refreshing. They are very different people who handle difficult feelings in the same way, withdrawal. Ms. Dreiling caught perfectly the swirl of emotions that anxiety can cause in a person and how it can easily rip apart the fragile self-esteem. Unlike other stories where both the heroine and hero have to go through extreme emotional upheaval to grow, Will and Amy gradually work their way through their problems. Despite them not knowing each other well, they quickly learn to rely on each other for strength and the importance of fully believing in each other.

It was an absolute thrill to finally read a book where when the twist comes, the hero and heroine act like rational mature adults instead of following the first emotional impulse that flits through their brain. Of course given both Amy and Will’s tendency to withdraw from adversity, it underscores their development and why they are so perfect for each other. As in her other two books, the hero and heroine compliment each others strengths and weaknesses and bring out the best in each other. The rapport between Amy and Will is light, witty and bewitching. Watching Will fall in love with Amy was utterly delightful and easily made this my favorite book of the series.

View all my reviews