2020 Book #45 – Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean

Title: Daring and the Duke
Author: Sarah MacLean
Date finished: 6/28/20
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: #3 in the Bareknuckle Bastards series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with the much-anticipated final book in her Bareknuckle Bastards series, featuring a scoundrel duke and the powerful woman who brings him to his knees.

Grace Condry has spent a lifetime running from her past. Betrayed as a child by her only love and raised on the streets, she now hides in plain sight as queen of London’s darkest corners. Grace has a sharp mind and a powerful right hook and has never met an enemy she could not best…until the man she once loved returns.

Single-minded and ruthless, Ewan, Duke of Marwick, has spent a decade searching for the woman he never stopped loving. A long-ago gamble may have lost her forever, but Ewan will go to any lengths to win Grace back…and make her his duchess.

Reconciliation is the last thing Grace desires. Unable to forgive the past, she vows to take her revenge. But revenge requires keeping Ewan close, and soon her enemy seems to be something else altogether—something she can’t resist, even as he threatens the world she’s built, the life she’s claimed…and the heart she swore he’d never steal again.

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I loved the start of this book – there was so much tension and the characters had such strong personalities right from the start. The heroine especially was a badass, I loved how violent she was, which I didn’t expect. And I loved the turnaround from the normal plot ending where Grace was the one that had to chase after Ewan and Ewan was the one in danger. The gender roles in this book were reversed in a number of different areas and it made for a really interesting story. The story went on a tad long for me, I thought there were a couple areas that felt superfluous. I think what really made this book as much of a hit for me was Grace. She was so bright – with her wardrobe and her hair and just her personality, she felt so vibrant and alive. I really enjoyed the book and I would recommend it!

Link to author website

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2019 Book #25 – Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson

51SAeQMII+L._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Smitten by the Brit
Author: Melonie Johnson
Date finished: 5/7/19
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Sometimes in Love series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:


English professor Bonnie Blythe expects her life to play out like her favorite novels, especially now that her long-term boyfriend has finally proposed. So when a shocking discovery leads Bonnie to end her engagement, she decides to close the book on love. But the plot thickens when a brand-new character enters the scene―and quickens Bonnie’s heart.

With his brilliant blue eyes, sexy accent, and irresistible charm, Theo Wharton is like a romantic hero straight out of a Jane Austen novel. When fate places Bonnie in England for a summer―conveniently close to Theo―she realizes a hot friends-with-benefits fling is exactly what she needs to start a fresh chapter. Just as Bonnie begins to believe she’s falling in love, an eye-opening revelation into Theo’s life makes Bonnie feel like she’s wandered into one of her favorite books. Will Bonnie have the courage to risk her heart and turn the page with the dashing Brit to find her true happy ending after all?

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I was really excited about Bonnie’s story after first reading about her in the previous book in the series, Getting Hot with the Scot. I didn’t end up loving this book quite as much as I expected to. I couldn’t connect with Bonnie’s character entirely. I did relate to her love of the literary world and how much of a book-nerd she was. Unfortunately she was a little flighty for me, it felt like she was consistently running away from her problems and her feelings. And she was just so melodramatic, she kept doing like these really dramatic things in reaction to situations based on what she thought one of her literary characters would do. And Theo was a bit too thick-headed for me too. In the last book in the series, Getting Hot with the Scot, the chemistry between the two main characters was intense and leapt off the page, but I didn’t feel that as much with Bonnie and Theo. The plot was a little lackluster for me, after the excitement and drama of the beginning of the book there wasn’t anything else that was really as climactic. This one wasn’t my favorite but I did still enjoy it and I like the series overall so far. I’m onto the third in the series now (it doesn’t come out til June so I likely should have waited but I’m so into the series I just couldn’t wait!)

Link to author website

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2018 Book #91 – My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes

Title: My One and Only Duke
Author: Grace Burrowes
Date finished: 11/25/18
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Pages in book: 465
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Rogues to Riches series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

One minute, London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution. The next, he’s declared the long-lost heir to a dukedom. Quinn has fought his way up from the worst slums, and now he’s ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who schemed against him.

Jane Winston, the widowed and pregnant, crosses paths with Quinn while her father is preaching to the prisoners. Believing his days are numbered, Quinn offers her marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and provide for her child. Neither thinks they’ll actually have a future together.

He’s a wealthy gutter rat out for vengeance. She’s a minister’s daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation into a proper ducal union. Are they doomed from the start or destined for a happily-ever-after?

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

This one was pretty long. For the most part I was able to stay interested but there were a couple parts where I though it got a tad dull. Overall though I thought the plot for this book was pretty creative – I haven’t read many other romance novels with similar plots. That being said I thought the ending wrapped up a little too quickly, for how drawn out the rest of the story was I thought the ending all came together pretty fast. Due to the length the reader is able to get to know the characters a little better, which I did enjoy. I didn’t love Quinn’s character though, even with the extra time. He was a little too deceptive for my tastes and Jane was so generous and loving. Other than items already discussed, I did enjoy this book. It wasn’t necessarily my favorite (mostly because it took me so long to get through) but I did enjoy it. I’d recommend it, especially since the plot was so different. 

Link to author website

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2018 Book #61 – The Duke of Lies by Darcy Burke

51kBWZEP2ILTitle: The Duke of Lies
Author: Darcy Burke
Date finished: 7/21/18
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Pages in book: 276
Stand alone or series: The Untouchables series Book #9
Where I got the book from: Social Butterfly PR
I received this book for free from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Verity Beaumont has suffered domineering men most of her life, first with her father and then with her husband. Free from both men, she has finally found peace. Even meeting a kind and hard-working gentleman who just might be the perfect father her young son so desperately needs. But as she dares look to the future, her carefully ordered world is shattered when her dead husband returns.

After six years away, Rufus Beaumont, Duke of Blackburn, returns to claim his place and protect his family. Only, the life he finds is not the life he left, and he must convince his wife that their marriage is worth fighting for, that he’s not the man he was. When the truth about what happened to him leaks out, he must prove that not everything about him, especially his love for her, is a lie.

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I was looking forward to reading Verity’s story after being introduced to her character in the last book in the series, The Duke of Ruin (Verity is Diana’s cousin). Verity has a sad back story as, similar to Diana, she has a jerk for a father and she unfortunately also had a jerk for a husband. Luckily her husband disappeared almost seven years ago. Unluckily, he’s back (maybe)! Rufus (Kit) was an interesting character but I felt almost like he wasn’t as developed as he could have been. He was very romantic though – his conversations with Verity and his expressions of love were poetic and heartfelt. And I thought Verity’s son Beau was just adorable, their little family was wonderful. This was a good book and it had an interesting plot. The ending was sweet and romantic while also just (the villain actually got what was coming to them in this scenario). I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, I’ve enjoyed this series overall so far and I’d recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

COVER REVEAL – The Duke of Seduction by Darcy Burke


The Duke of Seduction, an all-new historical romance from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke is coming August 21nd!

Burke, Darcy- The Duke of Seduction (final) (1)

The Duke of Seduction by Darcy Burke
Publishing Date: August 21nd
Genre: Historical Romance
Cover Designer: Seductive Musings
Photographer: Passion Pages Photography

Lady Lavinia Gillingham prefers rocks and dirt to marriage. Her passion is science, and she’s determined to marry if—and only if—she finds a man who supports her interests and intellect. So far, she’s managed to avoid attention on the Marriage Mart, but when the Duke of Seduction pens anonymous letters singing her praises, she suddenly become the toast of the ton and matrimony seems imminent.

William Beckett, Marquess of Northam possesses the reputation of a rake but is secretly a romantic. Spurned at sixteen, he doesn’t expect to feel the sting of Cupid’s bow a second time, and yet he’s able to woo the coldest of hearts with the anonymous words he publishes. As the Duke of Seduction, he uses his skill to help Lavinia, never anticipating she has no desire for assistance. While Lavinia is pursued by several suitors, Beck is the one who is seduced when he learns that love can strike twice…


Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ypnYPL
iBooks: https://apple.co/2tptdJo
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheDukeofSeduction
Nook: https://bit.ly/2tntIDJ
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2tlGsLf

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2I8mUzh

About Darcy:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.

740B2310 Darcy

Connect with Darcy:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans
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Stay up to date with Darcy by joining her Reader Club today:

Website: http://www.darcyburke.com


2017 Book #30 – My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

51EzZN-jfOLTitle: My One True Highlander
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Date finished: 4/4/17
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Pages in book: 319
Stand alone or series: #2 in the No Ordinary Hero series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Scotland, 1812—Rugged Highlander Graeme’s loyalty to his clan means that their enemies are his own—even when that includes his neighbor, the Duke of Lattimer. It’s a fight he doesn’t relish, but when Graeme’s reckless younger brothers foolishly kidnap Lattimer’s younger sister, all bets are off…
Lady Marjorie Forrester may be aligned with the enemy, but capturing her puts Graeme squarely in the middle of a war. If he turns Marjorie over to his clan chief, she could be killed. If he lets her go, his brothers could face prison. In addition, the woman can’t stop trying to civilize the lot of them! What’s a Highlander to do, then, but keep the stubborn lass close…and explore the unexpected passion that develops between them? But how can Graeme protect Marjorie and his brothers when both Lattimer and his own clan are on the warpath—and will do whatever it takes to tear these two star-crossed lovers apart, in My One True Highlander, the next No Ordinary Hero Scottish romance from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch.

My rating:  4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Lady Marjorie Forrester, sister to Gabriel Forrester from Book 1 in the series, No Ordinary Highlander. Lady Marjorie receives a letter from her brother informing her of his upcoming marriage, which he plans to celebrate with her in the spring when the weather has improved for traveling. Having missed out on most of their lives though with her brother being in the army and her being in boarding school, Marjorie decides this is one event she won’t be missing and immediately departs for the north. Unknown to her, she’s walking right into the middle of a clan war between the Maxwell clan and her brother’s newly established clan. Graeme Maxton is a laird who lives about 6 hours south of Gabriel. After his parents died when he was 20, he was left to raise his 3 younger brothers and also care for a whole herd of people. Maxwell usually ignores his existence, however his proximity to Gabriel has brought Graeme right into the crossfire of this clan war. And when his younger brothers kidnap Marjorie to try and “help,” Graeme then has to figure out what to do with her. And as Lady Marjorie spends more and more time with Graeme and his family, she finds herself fitting into this wild Highland place in a way she never expected.
Overall I really liked this book. I thought that Graeme was a really interesting character and he was so generous and thoughtful and just a great hero for this novel. And his youngest brother is just adorable and I loved the farm yard of pets that they have adopted into their household. While for some authors this plot line might have been unrealistic or unromantic or both, this author does a great job of making the whole thing seem less like Stockholm Syndrome and more like.. fate. The tension and the romance between the two main characters was just perfect. The book also had great supporting characters and plenty of drama with the clan war goings-on.

The bottom line: I really enjoyed this book, I always like a good historical romance novel! I would definitely recommend, especially if you enjoy Highlander novels.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #55 – The Duke In My Bed by Amelia Grey


Title: The Duke In My Bed
Author: Amelia Grey
Date finished: 6/8/15
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Pages in book: 306
Stand alone or series: #1 in The Heirs’ Club of Scoundrels series

Blurb from the cover:

As a notorious member of the Heirs’ Club, Bray Drakestone can’t resist a challenge from one of his well-heeled colleagues-especially when it involves money and horses. But the friendly wager takes an unexpected and deadly turn. Bray is forced to agree to marry one of his challenger’s five sisters-sight unseen. Now gamblers all over London are placing bets on whether Bray will actually go through with it…
Miss Louisa Prim, the eldest sister, doesn’t care a whit what the reckless rogue at the Heirs’ Club promised her brother-she has no intention of marrying the future Duke of Drakestone. Bray, however, sees her rejection as another challenge. He bets that the fiery Miss Prim will not only agree to marry him, she will propose to him! With four sisters behind her, Louisa knows she can’t lose. But why does her opponent have to be a divinely handsome scoundrel? And so sweetly, irresistibly seductive…

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book by a female author” check box since it was written by a woman. I saw this book at the Bristol library and I have read a couple books by her before, but really it was the cover that grabbed me (I love the purple flow-y dress) so I thought I would give it a try. And I have to say I picked this one up for reading at the perfect time, because after the devastation that was the Hunger Games series, I needed something more light and sweet. This book was exactly what I needed!
Louisa Prim is everything her name suggests: prim and proper, as she must be since she is the main caretaker for her four younger sisters, ranging in age from eighteen to six. Her mother passed away shortly after her youngest sister, Bonnie’s, birth and her father passed away only a couple years after her mother. Her brother inherited her father’s title and proceeded to discover all that London had to offer to a young and slightly wealthy man. It was because of this that her brother, Nathan, was in a curricle race once dark and foggy night, which that led to his untimely demise. The race was with a young heir to a dukedom, Brey Drakestone. Nathan coerced Bray with his dying breath to marry his oldest little sister and take care of his family. Bray protested at first, but with so many onlookers it was really quite difficult to deny this dying man’s last request. Cut forward to two years later, and Louisa thinks that she and her sisters are managing just fine without the scandalous Duke. So when he suddenly shows up and basically says “Well I guess I could marry you now” she wants nothing to do with him.
I very much liked this book. I liked Bray’s character a lot and I have to say it was different for the woman to be the one in the wrong for a change. Bray and Louisa’s relationship was interesting to watch evolve, and I liked Louisa’s big and boisterous family. There were some characters in the book that I would have liked to see get scolded a little more but I guess that wasn’t necessarily central to the plot. Overall was a good read though and relatively quick/easy.
The bottom line: I would recommend this book, I liked it a lot. I think this would make a great beach read! If you’re looking for something heavy and thought-provoking, I wouldn’t say this is the book for you though.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #12 – The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James


Title: The Duke is Mine
Author: Eloisa James
Date finished: 2/13/15
Genre: Historical romance / fairy-tale retelling
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Pages in book: 367
Stand alone or series: #3 in Fairy Tale series

Blurb from the cover:

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can’t he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.
Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Quin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.
To win Olivia’s hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…
Unless it’s already too late.
Don’t miss a new version of The Princess & the Pea, asking an age-old question: What is a perfect princess?

My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Fairy Tale Retelling” square. I have read the previous two books in the Fairy Tales series by Eloisa James and I have to say I really have enjoyed the series thus far overall. I loved fairy tales growing up and reading James’ interpretations of them in a historical romance novel setting are really interesting. There were many things that I liked about this novel, including the heroine’s less than slender figure (which I myself unfortunately suffer with as well) and how fiercely loyal Olivia is to her twin, Georgiana, even when it may mean turning her back on the only man she’s ever loved. I also liked that there was a happy ending for Georgiana that didn’t necessarily involve marrying someone else, this specifically I enjoyed mostly because I found it to be out of the norm from what you usually find in the historical romance genre. Which is another thing I liked about this book, I found it to be a little more unpredictable than most. Even towards the middle of the story, I knew there would be a happy ending but I had no idea where it would come from. And then it seemed like the happy ever after came like 100 pages before the end of the book and I thought to myself, what are we going to do with the next 100 pages, bask int heir happiness? But nope! Turns out there is another adventure on the horizon.

The bottom line:  I really liked this book. I think it would be great read on its own or especially as part of the series. I would recommend it!

Author website
Link to Amazon