Lady Gone Wicked by Elizabeth Bright – a Review

Lady Gone Wicked by Elizabeth Bright – a Review

 

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Description:
 Nicholas Eastwood is finally about to get everything he ever wanted. As a reward for his service to the Crown, he has been offered the title of marquess. All he has to do is stay scandal-free until the papers are signed. There’s just one problem: His ex-lover, presumed dead, is remarkably alive.

Adelaide Bursnell is determined to right her wrongs. She will be a dutiful daughter and loving sister. Most importantly, she must marry before her scandal catches up to her. Nicholas was once her ruin, but now he is determined to be her salvation. If he can find her a suitable husband, their shared past can stay buried.

But old temptations prove impossible to resist and scandal can never stay secret for long…

 

 

Review:

Although Lady Gone Wicked is considered book #2, in the Wicked Secrets series, you don’t have to read the first.  It does feature characters from the first book “Twice as Wicked” but it doesn’t really detract from the book.

Nicholas is a spy and soldier for the crown. But he’s a rogue and the black sheep of the family. And he’s finally come good, if he can stay out of trouble he will be given the title of “Marquess” and he will be able to hold his head up high in society again, but there is trouble coming round the corner…… 

Adelaide had the misfortune to fall in love with Nick and have his baby. She was then sent was to a convent in France by her parents to have her baby in secret (the shame of a child out of wedlock). But she disappeared and was thought to be dead for the last two years.

Adelaide has a twin sister called Alice. (Yes the same Alice from book 1). In Alice’s book, Alice came to avenge Adelaide’s death and downfall at Nicholas’s hand, and tried to kill him. Needless to say, all she did was fall for his “twin” brother. (Well ….. maybe she tried to shoot him a few times 😉) 

The two sisters are reunited and it becomes clear that Adelaide wants her past to disappear and to marry into a good family. But there are twists and turns that keep Adelaide and Nicholas bumping into each other. 

Nicholas wants Adelaide to marry into a good family and will try to “help” her regain her good name. But with the heat simmering away between them, it’s only a matter of time before something explodes. 

Lady Gone Wicked is a well written story, and again the characters come to life, and the secondary characters make you hope that they get stories too. A few laugh out loud moments, and a few moments where you almost reach for the tissues. 

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Penthouse Pact by Cathryn Fox – a Review

The Penthouse Pact by Cathryn Fox – a Review

 

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Description:
Billionaire software developer Parker Braxton knows everyone wants something from him. That’s why he made a multi-million-dollar bachelor pact with his friends to never marry. But he never counted on running into, literally, the quiet but sensual Layla Fallon.

Layla isn’t afraid of hard work. Still, there is no light at the end of her student-loan tunnel. When Stuck-Up Suit—Parker Braxton—accidentally runs her over, it’s the last things she needs. She refuses his help, but he’s persistent. He’s also handsome, kinder than she ever expected, and she’s doing her best to ignore her attraction. Which is harder than it sounds when she’s recuperating at his penthouse.

Sparks fly. Hearts flutter. But falling for Layla could cost Parker more than just several million dollars.

 

Review:

Penthouse Pact is the first book in The Bachelor Pact series by Cathryn Fox.

Parker Braxton is a billionaire software developer and president of SKYWEB, America’s leading producer of computer software. While in the process of his daily rush, driving past his favorite coffee shop Uncommon Grounds, he accidentally runs his car into Layla
Fallon. As soon as the accident happens, Parker realizes that the knows the woman he just hit.  It is the same woman that serves him his Grande Americano every morning at the coffee shop.  

This is the last thing Layla needs. She is a struggling student, who is behind on her rent, has no medical insurance and now has one “Stuck-up-suit” guy hitting her with his car.
Parker realizes what he has done and when he sees that Layla is bleeding he insists on taking her to the hospital. To which she loudly and boldly protests. But Parker is persistent and insistent that Layla allow him to take care of her and have her seen at the hospital.

Layla has a concussion and once Parker realizes she has no friend coming to pick her up or to look after her for the next few days, he insists that she come and stay with him.
But he has never invited any woman to his penthouse.  Let alone offering to have them stay.  After several disagreements, stubborn Layla finally agrees to spend one night with Parker. 

That one night turns into weeks when Parker takes her home only to find a main water line has broken in front of her apartment causing it to flood.  With no option of anywhere else to go – she begrudgingly returns to Parker’s penthouse. 

But Layla can’t afford to miss class, work or another rent payment.   And Parker does everything in his power to step up and do the right thing. When she realizes that the guy she used to call Stuck-up-Suit genuinely wants to take care of her and make sure she is ok. She slowly begins to open up and trust in him. 

Parker has no idea why his body betrays him every time he gets close to Layla; or why she has such an influence over him. But what he does know is that he has a pact with five men from his Yale secret society.  You walk down the aisle, you pay each man one million dollars.

Paker Braxton is cocky, arrogant and extremely good looking. And while he comes off as quite stuffy and all business in the beginning – he begins to grow on you.  The more he wants to take care of Layla, the more you begin to fall for him.  He is sweet and genuine at heart.  I loved how he began to become less business as his body began to betray him anytime he was near Layla.

Layla Fallon is one tough cookie.  She has had a rough life and has been on her own for quite some time.  She struggles to pay her rent, to pay for school. She struggles, yet she continues to move forward.  When she realizes that she has not gone unnoticed by stuck up Parker and that just maybe he isn’t as rude and cocky as he comes off.  She slowly begins to warm to him.  And the fact that her body does one thing while her brain screams another, makes for a hot and steamy read.

I look forward to continuing this series. It was a fun and playful read and the author beautifully paints a world of words that makes you want to find out more.
I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a hot, steamy quick read.

Reviewed by Erin

Copy provided by Publisher

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Enchanter Redeemed by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

Enchanter Redeemed by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

 

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Description:
Ancient magic and new passion…

In the last battle for Camelot, Merlin had to make a terrible choice. Now he must pay the price. When a demon from his past reappears, she wants nothing more than to destroy the wizard. Now to reap her vengeance as a lover scorned, the demon occupies the body of Clary—the apprentice who is capturing his heart—and has the innocent behaving in uncharacteristic ways. Ways that push the forbidden desire Clary and Merlin share into heated play…

 

Review:

Author Sharon Ashwood informs her audience about the character, Merlin, you’re about to meet (swoon for, it’s inevitable) before the prologue. This introduction gives you a brief history and depiction of the character you’re about to lose sleep over. It’s precious insight, but in no way does it prepare you for the action and emotion in this story — it will bowl you over. Bravo to Ms. Ashwood for Enchanter Redeemed, a stunning conclusion to a fabulous series!

Merlin’s ultimate success in the battle for Camelot was short-lived because while it ensured King Arthur’s crown, it also stripped away emotion from the fae, their trusted allies. Recruited to defeat the demons plaguing Camelot, Arthur regrettably compromised their spirited nature. That issue, its resolution to restore feelings, troubles Merlin to no end.

As troubling as that is, Merlin’s priority is to stay on top of any vulnerabilities since the Queen of Fae’s incarceration by the Lady of the Lake; any suspicious activity that threatens King Arthur’s reconstructed Camelot. When Merlin’s stealthy surveillance of demons begins to yield promising information, Clary, his unsuspecting student, and wildest, albeit secret, fantasy, trespasses into his domain not only revealing Merlin’s presence, but she’s accosted by a spiteful, powerful demoness named Vivian.

  “Ever since first meeting the knights of Camelot, Clary had wanted to help in their battle against Morgan LaFaye. Now she was infected by the enemy, a liability instead of an ally.”

Vivian, you’ll learn, is a woman instrumental in…all things Merlin. A woman scorned and all that jazz prompts Vivian to hijack Clary, body and soul. Torment aside, what nefarious deeds can Clary/Vivian commit to undermine Camelot under the scrutinizing eye of Merlin?

 “He released her, but didn’t back away…Her skin glowed the same delicate cream, her mouth still invited him-and yet something was different. It prickled against a sense that had no name.”

Imbued with fantastic humor, when you’re hosting a demon hell-bent on revenge, you pray for compatibility. Listening to the inner dialogue between Clary and Vivian was equal parts enlightening as well as chilling. Their banter is both light and combative as they tangle amidst dueling purposes. On top of their communal attributes comes the knowledge (and jealousy) of the relationship once enjoyed by Merlin and Vivian. Talk about conflict of interest! Clary is beginning to understand Vivian’s history, and goals (that resolutely includes the demise of her mentor and lover, Merlin), but this invasion is also affording Clary new perspective: it’s impossible not to wonder (Clary flat out asks) if it wasn’t all bad between this once formidable pairing. There’s only so much confidence one has, am I right?

Will Merlin become The Enchanter Redeemed? Does Clary rid herself of the unwanted neighbor? Does Vivian earn any redemption? Will Camelot prevail in the end? All the answers will satisfy and delight. Don’t miss out on this epic finale. This is an engaging series that maintains energy with every character’s book. Your faithful fan awaits your return, Ms. Ashwood!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

 

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Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters – a Review

Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters – a Review

 

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Description:
Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters. Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.

 

Review:

Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters is the 4th book in her Blood of the Drakon series.

Constance has a special gift for finding unique treasures and antiques, this helps her 

and her sister Abigail run an internet business selling items that they have brought. 

And when four statues in the shape of dragons come into their hands …. they get more than they bargained for ….. 

Nic is a Drakon (A Dragon shapeshifter) who is thousands of years old. (We’ve met him in previous books).  Nic is a big antique collector and searches for stolen or “lost” Drakon artifacts he’s also a recluse, he is close to the “big sleep” (that’s when a Drakon loses interest in the world and slows his body and goes “to sleep”).  When he meets Constance, he realises that’s she’s his “fated one” ; he has to face the world and help her, but can he trust her ? 

Constance feels there is something strange about the dragon statues and she calls an old friend to find her a buyer for the statues as quickly as possible.  But when her friend gets greedy and tries to sell to two buyers !!!! It all gets out of hand, and her sister pays the price !!!! 

When Abigail gets abducted by one of the buyers (Dent),  Constance has no choice but to trust Nic to help her retrieve her sister. And Nic has to trust that Constance will not turn the statues over to Dent, (the bad guy through the stories) because that would cause a big catastrophe for all Drakon’s in the world. Will both be able to overcome their distrust of one another? 

Just who can Constance trust? Who are the bad guys and who are the good? And then there is a big secret to uncover …..
.
It’s part of a series, but I feel you don’t need to read them in order. Plenty of action and a continual story (from previous books) and a well written story. Can’t wait to read more.

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy provided by Publisher

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Saving the Sheriff by Kadie Scott – a Review

Saving the Sheriff by Kadie Scott – a Review

 

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Description:
There’s a storm brewing…

The day his wife died, Sheriff Cash Hill discovered she was leaving him for another man, one she’d loved since before their marriage. How could the single dad ever trust another woman again? But when Georgia’s best friend, Holly, comes back to town, something about Holly’s sweet, sassy vulnerability has his protective instincts kicking in hard.

Holly Jensen left La Colina, Texas with regrets. She’s returned home to work as the new large animal vet and to watch over her best friend’s daughter. But Holly’s knowledge of Georgia’s past could rip a family apart. And she’s reluctant to go to the sexy…and single…sheriff, as he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her.

Both are faced with a choice…stay locked in the past or allow their reservations to be silenced by a passion hotter than Texas summer nights. Can they learn to trust their own hearts and each other?

 

 

Review:

Saving the Sheriff by Kadie Scott is the first book in her new The Hills of Texas series.

When Holly comes back to La Colina, she brings the weight of the past with her, and the secrets she kept for her best friend.  But she promised her best friend that she’d look out for her daughter, so Holly bites the bullet and tries to mend a few bridges with Cash. 

Cash is the sheriff of La Colina, a widower and a parent of a little girl.  He doesn’t trust people too much, as the woman he loved was leaving him for someone else.  So when his dead wife’s best friend comes back wanting to see his daughter, he has a hard time not believing she didn’t know that his wife was planning to run away with her “one love” 

We also find out that Holly had a secret crush on Cash in high school. But her Best friend got him first.  Yes we know they will get together, but the journey there was a twist and turn of mistrust and huge secrets, secrets that if found out will destroy both Cash and a little girl. 

When the secrets come out, will Cash listen to Holly, or will he turn his back and walk away?  Yes he has to protect himself, but surely there has to be more than Holly is letting on. 

I loved reading the Hill family interact (hoping we get a few stories 🙂 with Cash.   Kadie Scott’s ….. SAVING THE SHERIFF is a story of secrets, lies, love and loss. 

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy supplied for review

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The Billionaire’s Unexpected Baby by Kira Archer – a Review

The Billionaire’s Unexpected Baby by Kira Archer – a Review

 

The Billionaire's Unexpected Baby

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Description:
One minute, pregnant Leah Andrews is throwing up over the side of a yacht andthe next, she’s married to party boy Brooks. It’s an arrangement born of sheerdesperation to save her job, but now the tabloids are all over them, their friends are running a pool betting on whether they’ll actually stay married until Baby Day, and worst of all, she and her new husband might just be falling for one another. But they belong in opposite worlds. It’ll never work.

Billionaire app developer Brooks Larson lives his life on the light side. Until he tries to play hero and claims to be Leah’s husband. Now he’s up to his ears in Lamaze classes, baby powder…and unexpected marital bliss. But he’d make a rotten husband and horrible father. Leah and the baby deserve so much better. Add in major baby daddy drama and the whole situation is the worst idea EVER. But sometimes those bad ideas might just be the best ones.

 

 

Review:

The Billionaire’s Unexpected Baby is the second book in her Winning The Billionaire series by Kira Archer.

 Leah Andrews life has taken an unexpected turn.  Pregnant (from a one night stand) and on a trip with friends for her god daughters christening she meets billionaire bad boy Brooks Larson.  Not long after their return home, Brooks slip of the tongue almost costs Leah her job at the private Catholic school she was just hired at to be a literature teacher. With no other alternative – Brooks tells Leah’s boss that she won’t be a single mother – they are getting married. And so out of necessity comes a marriage. A marriage that for all practical purposes is fake. Except neither Leah nor Brooks can deny their feelings for each other.

While Brooks has never been looking for any kind of relationship, Leah makes him think about his future. A future he wants her included in.  But the fact that Leah is pregnant with another man’s child doesn’t matter much to Brooks. That is until Brooks sees who it is – Marcus Cassidy.  An old college friend of his who stole an app idea out from under Brooks and ran with it.  While Brooks is fullfilling his obligation of pretending to be Leah’s husband his life becomes overwhelmed with baby preparations. But Brooks isn’t sure he is what Leah or her baby need in their lives. So much so that he decides to walk away – thinking he is saving her from himself. Little did he know that Leah wishes him to be her husband for now and forever. She loves him as much as he loves her. Can they make it work, even with Marcus in his childs life? Can they move beyond the fake marriage and make one of love and happily ever afters?  

I love the complexity and stubbornness of both Leah and Brooks. Even though Brooks is a billionaire – he turned out to be kind, sweet and very compassionate.  Leah is a strong, independent woman. And she will do whatever it takes to have this child and raise her properly.  But when she almost loses her job – she has no choice to go along with the plan of faking their marriage. And what ensues is beautiful and wonderful. Watching Brooks develop and open himself to the idea of marriage and kids was magical and fulfilling.  He made me laugh and smile to myself on several occasions throught the book. 

This is a stand alone book which was just wonderfully written so that if you haven’t read the first book – you will now want to! The passion and love between Brooks and Leah was delightfully written and made this a quick read. Only because I just didn’t want to put the book down without finding out what would happen next!  

Reviewed by Erin

Copy provided by Publisher

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Mikhail by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

Mikhail by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

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DESCRIPTION

A dragon never leaves his hoard unguarded. His heart is another matter. 

The second eldest in an ancient line of Russian dragon shifters, Mikhail Barinov had one job: protect one of the family hoard of jewels. Distracted by the English virgin queen Elizabeth, who was as dazzling as she was devious; he lost everything. Five centuries of exile later, news that a construction crew has unearthed a massive trove of gold and jewels sends him racing to London, determined to steal back his family’s treasure…and his honor. 

Professional gemologist Piper Linwood can’t wait to bury herself in her newest project, evaluating a hoard of Elizabethan-era treasure. But both her life and career are threatened when a mysterious, brooding man with a dangerous smile—and an even more dangerous kiss—snatches the lot. 

Unwillingly swept along for the ride, Piper discovers Mikhail is no mere thief. And the dragon on his back is more than a tattoo. It’s a living, breathing extension of a bad boy she’s finding harder and harder to resist. But his heart is a treasure she can never own…because to save her career, she’ll have to betray his trust.

 

 

REVIEW

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Dragons and dragons and dragons .. OH MY!  Love me some yummy dragon shifters and boy did this dragon shifter ever turn up the heat! 🙂

Mikhail by Lauren Smith (love it when book titles come with just a name) is the second book in her “Brothers of Ash and Fire” series and I have to say this one delivered as well as the first one did.  This series is based on a family of dragon men who are guarding their “precious” and finding their mates.  Obviously a paranormal romance but it’s the dash of history that really nailed it for me.  You will get some adventure, intensity, a good myth story line and some hot yummy dragons who journey towards their eternal happiness .. and the sexy is a super bonus.

Mikhail Barinov is a dragon shifter who had been responsible for guarding precious gems for his family but was betrayed by none other than Queen Elizabeth I and had those gems stolen from him.  What made it worse was that the Queen was his mate and inflicted serious pain and humiliation his way.  Now hundreds of years later, Mikhail learns that those gems have been uncovered and he does all he can to make sure he gets them back to save face.  Mikhail is dark but not so that he is annoying.  He is loyal and losing his gems really hit him hard, so he became focused quite intensely on recovering them.  This led to him being broody and a little stand offish.  When he meets another woman who can potentially ruin his chance of turning things around he take extreme actions to ensure she won’t.  This includes sweeping her away and showing her his world.  Little did he realize that there is possibility of another mate being found, but this dragon isn’t sure he can trust second chances.

Piper Linwood is a gemologist and is excited about the find that makes all her hard worth it.  Piper is spunky and sweet and knows she has literally struck gold when gems from 500 years ago come across her path.  She comes to realize that there is another as interested in these gems and she finds herself strangely drawn to him.  NOTHING will distract her from her job though .. until it kinda does, and she finds herself swept away to a place that only exists in books and stories.  When broody dragon shows his scales, she realizes that she is in a world of danger, and her losing her heart may be the mot dangerous thing she has done yet.

I LOVED these two together.  What a perfect match they were.  They each took chances on the other and boy can you ever appreciate Lauren’s writing when it comes to the passion.  You will find yourself totally rooting for these two.  Once again I was swept away in a world that Lauren created and I am eager for more.  Always writing with a natural flow and ease, I never once fell bored during the story.  I will say the historical twist was epic as I am a huge Tudor lover, so having two genres merged the way this is was a real treat.  

This is not a long read and I do recommend that you read the first book of this series before this one.  Mikhail is introduced there and you can appreciate his character far more by understanding what other around him feel.  Trust me on this one.

Another grand slam Lauren Smith .. please keep them coming!

HAPPY READING!

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied for review

 

 

Giveaway-Green/Gold

Lauren is graciously offering a  signed paper copy of a book of your choice from Lauren’s backlist to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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War Games by Jess Anastasi – a Review

War Games by Jess Anastasi – a Review

 

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Description:
When one of her pilots is shot down behind enemy lines, Lieutenant Theresa Brenner will stop at nothing to save her before she’s captured and tortured, even if it means being part of the dirtside team led by Colonel Cameron McAllister. Bren might respect the way the colonel commands his men, but she’ll never trust Cam—no matter how charming he is—because he was responsible for her brother’s death. Colonel Cameron McAllister has a covert mission behind enemy lines to team with the Ilari rebels and overthrow the bloodthirsty dictator who’s torn their planet apart. The last thing he needs is to get sidetracked searching for a downed pilot, especially since it means having Lieutenant Theresa Brenner tag along. Not only doesn’t the frosty pilot have the ground game to keep up with his seasoned group, she’s a potential distraction with all those gorgeous blond curls of hers—and she might be just like her brother, whose foolhardiness got his men killed.

 

Review: 

War Games by Jess Anastasi is the fourth book in the Valiant Knox series. 
They can be read as separate books, but I found it easier to read them in order. As there is a lot of background stories. And for the author to include it in every book would be a little page consuming. 

In a previous book the tension between Cameron and Theresa (Bren) caught my attention, so I was eager to see how they get past their animosity for each other. 
For the past decade, both Bren and Cameron have kept their distances from each other. Both have their pride and neither will listen to the other. That is until a missing pilot brings them together, and they have to learn to trust one another, and from there they learn about the past and how they can move forward. 

Cameron lost a team of soldiers under his command due to Bren’s brother (and as far as he is concerned, she’s a liability just like her brother).  I found Cameron a complex person, although overbearing, he is loyal and there is nothing he won’t do for his men. 

Bren has had to work hard for her place in this world, her brother was her family and she totally blames Cameron for his death. She loves her job and won’t let one of her own become a prisoner.  She fears that the pilot will be tortured or worse, so she’ll suck it up and work with Cameron (but that doesn’t she mean she’ll like it) 

Bren finds Cameron overbearing and not at all understanding of her predicament, one of her pilots is missing……and she’s going on the mission, whether he likes it or not !! (And it’s definitely a not) 

This is a perfect action packed thriller.  I love reading this series, as the author puts you right in the action, and you can almost imagine the fight scenes.  Jess Anastasi writes the characters so well, that I have no problem conjuring them up in my mind, and all the past friendships and relationships in the previous books are the same. The series flows really well into the next book and it was nice catching up with the series. 
Reviewed by Julie B

Copy provided by Publisher

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