2019 Book #37 – Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor

51oeFmRMi2L.jpgTitle: Rogue Most Wanted
Author: Janna MacGregor
Date finished: 6/30/19
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Pages in book: 380
Stand alone or series: #5 in the Cavensham Heiresses 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:

Wanted: an engagement of convenience. Found: A noble suitor.

Raised on a remote Scottish estate by her adoring grandfather, Lady Theodora Worth has inherited an earldom as well as the land itself. But when an upstart duke challenges her claim to the title and the Ladykyrk estate, Thea is suddenly in need of a husband—in name, at least. An elderly neighbor with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a dashing great-nephew just might be the answer to Thea’s prayers. Except she has no intention of marrying the first man she meets. That would be utterly ridiculous.

It just can’t be him. . .

Lord William Cavensham is entirely too devoted to his family’s estate—ever since he was jilted as a lad–to wed, but he agrees to meet the woman his aunt has taken under her wing—and introduce her to possible suitors. But after just one meeting with beautiful, spirited Thea, Will is determined to help her reclaim her title. And even moreso, he can’t stop thinking that perhaps marriage to this bold, passionate woman may be the one thing he’s been missing all along?

My rating:  4.0 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.

I’ve read all of the books in the Cavensham Heiresses series up to now and I was interested to hear William’s story. William was such a dreamy character – he was honorable and stalwart and swoon-worthy. And he had such a loving and supportive family, most of which have been featured in a previous book in the series. It was fun to revisit with some of the couples and see their interactions with both Will and Thea. Thea was a fierce woman in her own right, and I loved that the plot was about Thea fighting for her right to her inheritance and how it looked at what a patriarchal society this took place in. Thea was loving, honest, and kind and so much appreciated the gift of Will’s involved and boisterous family. Will and Thea had a little trouble getting together and I got a little frustrated that they couldn’t see what was right in front of them, but it almost turned out just as well that their friendship developed so deeply to start. I really enjoyed this book, it was a romantic and interesting story and I’d recommend it!

I also think it’s interesting that the next book is about Avalon and Devan since Avalon was disparaged in this novel – I’m excited to see how her character turns around and the different layers to her story.

Link to author website

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

2015 Book #67 – The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

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Title: The Royal We
Author: Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Date finished: 7/3/15
Genre:  Fiction, Romance-ish, Drama
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Pages in book: 452
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.
Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.
Which is how she gets into trouble.
Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

My rating: 4 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 based on a true story” check box since the authors loosely based this book around Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance. Obviously this book is a work of fiction and in no way portrays what happened during WIlliam and Kate’s courtship (at least I hope Kate and Harry didn’t “snog” each other as the British so endearingly term it) but the main idea is based on their unlikely courtship and eventual marriage. Its a true Cinderella story, having the Prince of England fall in love with you. What little girl doesn’t want to be a princess? But what every little girl doesn’t consider (and what this book expertly depicts) are the hardships that come attached to being affianced to someone directly in the line to ascend to the throne. The lack of privacy, the demands to be perfect at all times, the hateful gossip columnists and he way your friends all suddenly want something from you.
Bex Porter is just a normal girl from Iowa. She lucked out and was able to do a semester abroad in one of the places she’s loved since she was a little girl, England. And when it turns out Prince Nicholas is actually living on the same floor as her, she reacts differently from how I would expect most to react, she doesn’t seem to care much at all. She acts as if he is any old person, which I think is one of the reasons that Nick was attracted to Bex in the first place. They fight their feelings at first, because Nick is already in a relationship and also because Bex is hooking up with another guy on the floor. But Nick and Bex form an unlikely friendship that continues to develop as simply that at first, a deep friendship. Before they know it though, they are quite deeply in love with each other.
Relationships with this much strain put on them are bound to have their ups and downs. I think this book was a great depiction of the characters as they should be, humans that have feelings and emotions and who make mistakes (sometimes a lot of them). There were some very heart-wrenching parts of the book and some parts that made me down-right mad (Bex tends to let people walk on her quite a bt in the book, she gives up in fights WAY before I would be willing to let things go) but through out the book I felt deeply connected to the characters and what was happening with them. I laughed, I cried, I shouted, I cheered. This was a great feels book and the emotions just held me hostage there at the end. While at a few points I did find the book to be a bit wordy, I thought the wordy parts were worth it and some of them were even downright poetic
The bottom line: I thought this was a great book, if a tiny bit wordy for me. Most of the wordy parts were worth it though, I would recommend!
Favorite quotes:
Bex: “My dad and I once had a fight because I refuse to put ketchup on my hot dogs.” Nick: “That’s possibly the most American sentence I ever heard.”
“I remember understanding what a brutal thing it is to be the bearer of truly bad news – to break off a piece of that misery and hand it to other people, one by one, and then have to comfort them; to put their grief on your shoulders on top of all your own; to be the calm one in the face of their shock and tears.”
“I don’t want you to think I”m holding something over you. I’m not. This isn’t a favor. This is just love.”

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

2014 Book #65 – Not Always a Saint by Mary Jo Putney

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Title: Not Always a Saint
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Date finished: 6/29/15
Genre:  Historical romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Co.
Publication Date: May 2015
Pages in book: 294
Stand alone or series: The Lost Lords series book #7
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

After the death of his sweetheart when he was at university, Daniel Herbert buried his grief in medical studies and his passion for healing. Viewed as a saint by those who know him, in his own mind he never quite manages to live up to his own high standards.
Most men would be thrilled to learn they’ve inherited a title and estate from a distant relative, but Daniel is appalled because the burden of wealth will interfere with his medical calling.  Warily he accepts that he must enter society and seek a wife—a sensible woman who can oversee his properties, leaving him free to continue his work. He does not expect to become intoxicated by a woman called the Black Widow, who is as mysterious as she is shockingly beautiful…
Jessie Kelham’s looks have always been a curse. Now alone with a young daughter and a perilous secret, she is in need of protection. But dangerously attractive Daniel Herbert is not the kind of husband she has in mind. If he recognizes her, the demons of her past will surely erupt. Yet they cannot keep apart—and soon they are drawn into a union that may bring joy—or shattering danger…

My rating: 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I have liked the Lost Lords series since the beginning and I was excited to see the next one in the series come out this year. This book is about Daniel Herbert, the brother of Laurel Herbert who is the heroine in the sixth book in the series, Not Quite a Wife. Daniel is a surgeon and has devoted his life to helping people. Basically, he meets Jessie when she is a patient and then runs into her again like 7 years later and they fall in love-ish. She fought it at first obviously because she was looking for an arrangement a bit more mellow but obviously they end up loving each other, its a romance novel.
I thought this book was good and it was a good continuation of the series. Many of the characters from the previous 6 books are included in this story as well, its always nice to see characters again that you became attached to in previous stories. This book had more dark elements included in it than I would have liked though. The heroine has had just the most awful experiences and has pretty much had a miserable life except the last four years but now she’s right back in an awful situation. I just felt like it was too much for one person to take without bowing under the pressure. Other than that though I liked the plot line and while I wasn’t nuts about Jessie’s character I loved Daniel’s character. And Beth was a character!
The bottom line: I would recommend this book and the series as well to historical romance fans.

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

2015 Book #49 – The Tempting of Thomas Carrick by Stephanie Laurens

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Title: The Tempting of Thomas Carrick
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Date finished: 5/26/15
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Pages in book: 456
Stand alone or series: Cynster family series #21, 2nd in Cynster Next Generation series

Blurb from the cover:

Thomas Carrick is driven to control all aspects of his life. The wealthy owner of Carrick Enterprises, located in bustling Glasgow, he is one of that city’s most eligible bachelors and intends to select a wife from the many young ladies paraded before him. He wants to take that next step along his self-determined path, yet no one captures his eye, nor his attention…not the way Lucilla Cynster did.
Thomas has avoided his clan’s estate because it borders Lucilla’s home, but disturbing reports from his clansmen force him to return. His uncle, the laird, is ailing, a family is desperately ill, and the healer is unconscious and dying. Duty leaves Thomas no choice but to seek help from the last woman he wants to face.
Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla has been waiting for Thomas to return and claim his place by her side. She knows he is her fated lover, husband, protector, and mate just as she is his one true love. Though his return wasn’t on her account, Lucilla is willing to seize whatever chance Fate hands her.
Thomas can never forget Lucilla, or the connection that seethes between them, but to marry her would mean embracing a life he does not want.
Lucilla sees that Thomas has yet to accept the inevitability of their union. But how can he ignore a bond such as theirs—one so much stronger than reason? Lucilla is as determined as only a Cynster can be to fight for the future she knows can be theirs. And while she cannot command him, she has powerful enticements she’s willing to wield in the tempting of Thomas Carrick.

My rating: 4.0 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 published this year” check box since it was published in February of this year. I have been eagerly awaiting this novel as it is a continuation of one of my favorite series I started reading in the last couple years, the Cynster series. This book marks the first of the Cynster Next Generation series which will chronicle the stories of the children from the characters in the past 20 books of the series. The overall Cynster family tree can be found here, Lucilla is the oldest offspring of Richard & Catriona (from book #3 in the Cynster series).
Lucilla is destined to be the next Lady of the Vale, her childhood home. This is highly unusual for this time as the estate would usually pass to the oldest son. However, this estate in particular is governed by the Lady (a deity) and so the oldest daughter of the current Lady of the Vale is to inherit the lands. Lucilla has always known this to be her destiny and saw no reason to fight against what would ultimately fulfill her purpose in life. For the past 10 years she has known that Thomas would be her consort (we saw the preview for this in By Winter’s Light) but the Lady instructed Lucilla to be patient and so she has waited and waited for Thomas to re-enter her life in a more permanent way. Circumstances throw them together at last and they team up to try and solve a mystery of sorts.
The ending leaves some issues open for me. Whatever happened to Nigel? Where did he go? I’m not sure if these are meant to remain open or if they will be addressed in Marcus’s novel (released TODAY! And FYI Marcus is Lucilla’s twin). I am very much looking forward to reading his story as the heroine was also introduced to us in this novel.
Overall I liked this book a lot. I was intrigued throughout and honestly once I started it I couldn’t seem to put it down. The ending felt a tad anti-climactic but I’m hoping that there is some follow-up in the next book. And it was a bit too steamy for me but I muddled through that part because I really loved the plot and the story. Lucilla is such a strong character and I really just adored her. It did end up being a tad bit wordy, hard to avoid at over 450 pages, but it wasn’t so wordy that I lost interest in the story, just that a couple points i was like “Alright let’s get on with it already, they both think the other is hot I get it.” Overall though I was immensely pleased at this continuation in an already very long series.

The bottom line: I would recommend this book, it was intriguing throughout. I love the Cynster series and I am excited that it is continuing with the Next Generation.

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