Review of “A Duke Like No Other” by Valerie Bowman (Playful Brides #9)

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

3 and a half stars 🌟 🌟🌟

Most all female authors these days are trying to capture a market where readers are very much on the side of progressive feminism. That being said, when trying to write about a strong heroine, who gives as good as she gets, creating storylines that are a bit far-stretched for the time period are also becoming the norm. Sometimes, these artistic licenses taken by the author work for me, when they don’t seem TOO unreasonable. At other times, I do feel like rolling my eyes going.. Really??! There are genres where imagination can take far greater leaps and readers expect it even.. for example, historical paranormal romances…

But a historical romance based around plots and characters very much grounded in “real life”… well, there is a very grey area I suppose what one can get away with.

So a female Bow Street Runner was a tad too much for me. And though the romance is enjoyable, the premise for a decade long separation between the hero and heroine, who are married.. without anyone trying to resolve anything.. again a bit weak.

The mystery that the two try to solve together was more believable. However, I wish a little more time had been spent on how the h and H emotionally reconnected after 10 years. The connection felt more physical and not a very strong reason to resolve such a long period of separation.

So, given all the issues that left me feeling a bit dissatisfied, I am giving this one a 3.5 rating for at least holding my interest with the mystery in the story.

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Review of “The Luck Of The Bride” by Janna MacGregor (Cavensham Heiresses #3)

Thanks to St Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

4 Stars 🌟 🌟🌟🌟

Well! I went into this book with a bit of trepidation because I did not really enjoy the 2nd book in the series (my first read by the author; I have yet to read #1 in the series).

Comparatively, this was actually rather enjoyable, with secondary characters that I liked, namely the heroine’s younger brother. I found his banter with the hero quite adorable and charming, to say the least.

I really liked the heroine as well. Given the time period and the circumstances she was faced with, I really do believe I may have resorted to the same actions as her? One never knows what one is truly capable of until you’re forced into the same drastic situation, mind you.

I WAS drawn to the hero as well, until that last relapse in his good judgment where his trust and belief so EASILY went flying out the window/door what-say-you. Way too easily, yes.

But that is the only glaring negative point for me. The other issues, I simply won’t mention because they don’t really take away too much from the reader being able to enjoy the story overall. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

So yes, this one gets a solid 4 from me!

Review of “So Over You” (Chicago Rebels #2) by Kate Meader

4 Solid Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

ARC kindly provided by publisher through NetGalley for a fair review. Thank you!

No denying that Kate Meader writes awesome romances centred around the world of hockey and this book, the second in her Chicago Rebels series, was no exception of course.

This one stars a sexy, brooding Russian hero and Isobel – the sister who was meant to fulfil the “hockey-stardom” aspirations of her father – but, she was a) born the wrong gender (in the eyes of her douchebag dad) and b) suffered a life-threatening injury that put her out of the game for good.

Although the romance here has got the sweet essence of young love, Remy and Harper somehow has remained my favourite couple (so far). I think it’s because Remy somehow appealed to me more. That tidbit when he espouses his knowledge of “Pride and Prejudice” felled me! Not to mention his cooking skills (yes, I love my food)…

In the case of Vadim, despite how he fell for Isobel as a teen, and how that love ran deep, I just couldn’t take some of his …as Katy Perry puts it so well..

… “hot then cold, yes then no, in then out, up then down, wrong when it’s right, black and white” attitude..

Isobel was a feisty heroine (I loved her passion and dedication!) but oh so darn stubborn sometimes. I kept rolling my eyes at times, going “No, Isobel.. don’t!”

The story, besides having familiar faces from the past, also has some family dynamics happening in Vadim’s life, all of which I loved…

All in all an awesome read, which I would of course, recommend to others without hesitation .. ☺️

Review of “Irresistible You” (Chicago Rebels #1) by Kate Meader

5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

ARC kindly provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

— SPOILERS AHEAD —

Help! Panties going up in flames 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

This was such an amazing read! I loved every single sizzling and witty moment between Remy and Harper. And oh my god, just reading about his Cajun accent and the words he used with Harper melted my panties.. And he is a phenomenal cook and enjoys reading about Darcy and Elizabeth, then uses the context to tell Harper that they’ve been doing the same thing.. pre-conceived notions and all that jazz! Woah!

This was a great book with lots of secondary characters that kept the story interesting and fast-paced. I cannot WAIT to read about Isobel and Vadim! Not to mention Violet and her “Nessie”… but I digress.

Remy’s POV melted my heart – the parts where he is slowly coming to appreciate Harper for the woman she is and realising how she is THE women for him. And the part in the interview where he says he plays for HER.. oooo my heart melted into a mushy puddle.

I am not even a hockey fan (born and raised in Bangladesh and currently residing in Australia, cricket and football is what I know best) but you really don’t have to be one to enjoy the book. But if you are, I can safely surmise that you will definitely enjoy all the “lingo” and technical details associated with the sports that’s been depicted in the book.

And did I mention how hawt I found Remy?? I did?? Oh. But I think it’s worth repeating. Melted. My. Panties.

All in all, a truly awesome read!

Review of “What A Difference A Duke Makes” by Lenora Bell

4.5 Stars 🌟 🌟🌟🌟

Thanks to AVON Books (and Lenora Bell!!) for providing me with an ARC via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

Ms. Bell’s novels have always been close to my heart and I enjoyed this one as well.

This was a thoroughly adorable love story with lots of laughs and witty/sassy banter. The heroine, Mari (rhymes-with-starry ❤️) and the hero, Edgar were both likeable characters. Come to think of it, everyone in this story was likeable, except of course for the dour-faced Mrs. Trilby. Somehow, I kept envisioning all the terrible fictional teachers I’ve ever encountered in my life, be it Miss Trunchbull or Dolores Umbridge – although mind you, Mrs. Trilby is not really as horrible as them, honestly speaking.

Getting back to my point – the secondary characters, from the housekeeper to the twins to the hero’s sister, to her love interest – ALL likeable. I don’t really want to elaborate further on any of them and give half the story away.

Finally, the CUTEST part inside the book – to me at least – was not even within the story itself, but in the “Acknowledgements” where Ms. Bell wrote, “My mother recommended my last steamy historical romance to the bishop, as mothers do.” This made me laugh out loud. Such personal glimpses into an author’s life somehow makes them much more dearer.

I think because of the fact that Mari and Edgar liked/loved/lusted after one another from the start and made no effort to hide their feelings from one another, I actually felt a bit put out, leading me to give it the rating I finally settled on. Somehow I have always been an addict of the romance trope where there is a healthy amount of friction or angst between the two protagonists. Which is why I believe I am very much intrigued by the couple who is featuring in the next book in this series.

All in all a fun romance that I would recommend to others..

Review of “The Rogue Is Back In Town” by Anna Bennet

2 Stars 🌟 🌟

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Right. Where to start. I have not previously read any books bu this author and looked forward to getting to know her work, even though this is the third book in a series. I personally don’t have any issue in regards to reading books out of order, especially if they’re a stand-alone story on their own.

Unfortunately nothing about this book worked for me. But, maybe, it’s because it’s more about me than the book itself?

For the past few months, when it comes to historicals, I have been drawn to dark romances filled with angst and imperfect heroines and heroes. Perhaps, THAT is what is working for me right now. This romance felt too light-hearted for my personal taste. I just could not get into the story though I did try.

Please do not make a decision on my review alone. What didn’t work for me may very well work for you, so do read a several reviews to reach a conclusion.

Review of “Wallflower Most Wanted” by Manda Collins

3 Stars 🌟 🌟🌟

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This was my very first book by the author and I must admit, it just did not gel with my personal taste. Usually, even if I am sick or I’m busy during a family holiday, I will MAKE the time to finish a book if the plot, the characters and the narrative style has managed to sink their hooks into me.

This is a nice enough romance – no doubt about it – with what appears to be an interesting heroine and hero.. the former is an artist whose paintings are considered taboo by some, while the later is a vicar. However, at times, I felt my attention wandering off the story. I cannot for the life of me put my finger on it, but somehow the flow of words just seemed a tad monotonous to me. In the end, I had to struggle to finish the book, which I felt I needed to, to write an honest review.

The story has your customary HEA of course, and readers who enjoyed the previous two instalments in the series, will most likely enjoy this one as well. For me unfortunately the spark was missing..

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