Review: My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes

Series – Rogues to Riches #1

Mass Market Paperback, 442 pages

Published November 6th 2018 by Forever

ISBN13: 9781538728956

London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution, for a murder which he is being framed for.  But, before the floor drops out of the gallows he’s declared the long-lost heir to a dukedom! Quinn has fought his way up from the vilest slums, and now he’s ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who schemed against him.

Except for one tiny problem! Thinking he was on his way to the devil, he had married  Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a meddlesome prison preacher. Quinn, believing his days numbered, offered Jane marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and provide for her child. Neither thinks they’ll actually have a future together.  And that is where the fun begins.  

One thing you can expect from Grace Burrowes are different scenarios which I have found are a trademark of this brilliant author.  And MY ONE AND ONLY DUKE the first book in this new series introduces us to the unconventional Wentworth family which I predict is going to be a winner!

Quinn is now an even  wealthier gutter rat out for vengeance. Jane is a minister’s daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation and convenience into a proper ducal union.   Add to that Quinn’s two sisters, and younger handicapped brother who were just as hungry for payback as Quinn for the dastardly person who framed their brother and Jane had her hands full.  With some training, albeit not in a role as a duchess, Jane had the task of turning this unusual household into a refined ducal residence as well as teaching Quinn that love and trust were part of having a real marriage.

Marilyn Rondeau 

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Review: Whiskey Undone

Whiskey Undone (Whiskey and Lies Book 3) by [Ryan, Carrie Ann]

By Carrie Ann Ryan

A fantastic page turner that you do not want to miss.

Loch Collin just wants to raise his precious daughter, be near his family and his best friend Ainsley Harris and keep his past at bay. Unfortunately pasts always find a way of coming back to haunt people and his put not just himself and his baby girl in danger but his biggest weakness also gets caught up in it all.

Ainsley has been by Loch’s side helping him and being a friend but she has secretly been in love with him, but knowing her friend so well any change in their status will have to come from him. Finally he comes to his senses and realizes that being in love with his best friend can be a good thing. Or can it?

So many secrets, so much danger and so much love will have you reading and turning pages as quickly as possible then you’ll want to do it all over again. The characters are believable, especially with the bickering brothers, glares from mom and the adorable little daughter, Misty. And good Lord can author Carrie Ann Ryan make her bad guys really horribly bad.

This is the third and final offering in in Ms. Ryan’s “Whiskey and Lies” series. It is a standalone so you need not read the other two but … why wouldn’t you! All three are amazing reads.

 

 

Review: If the Coffin Fits by Lillian Bell

Violet Daugherty’s death seems an accident, a case of drowsy driving. Meanwhile, a comment made during the funeral planning for Frank Fiore has Funeral Director and reporter Desiree Turner questioning if something more sinister is going on in Verbena. Unfortunately, the rumor mill runs rampant in the small town and soon Desiree is faced with losing business, as everyone is worried they too will be accused of murder. Will Desiree risk the family business and defy her family’s orders or will she ignore her reporter’s instincts and sit this one out?

IF THE COFFIN FITS is the second book in Lillian Bell’s A Funeral Parlor Mystery series.  New readers to the series can easily jump right in and enjoy the series. Lillian Bell provides enough of the history on the characters that it’s easy to follow the mystery.

I was a little concerned about how I would enjoy a story featuring a funeral parlor and the funeral director but Lillian Bell pulled me right into her story line. Heck, Desiree has her own reservations about working for the family business and it is that edge that helps make IF THE COFFIN FITS so enjoyable. I like that Desiree is also a reporter as it also makes her amateur sleuthing far more believable.

IF THE COFFIN FITS is an entertaining cozy mystery coupled with some fascinating side stories. The conclusion of the book leaves me with so many questions that I can’t wait to see answered in the next book! If you love cozy mysteries with unconventional jobs (like a funeral director), then IF THE COFFIN FITS may just be your cup of tea as well.

Review: A Lady’s Escape by A.S. Fenichel

A Lady's Escape

Published October 2nd 2018 by Lyrical Press

Series:  Everton Domestic Society #2                       Rating 4*

Having a most disastrous London debut, Millicent Edgebrook has proven herself skilled at securing matches—for every young lady but herself. Resigned to spinsterhood, and eager to gain independence from her lovable but eccentric uncle, Millie works with the Everton Domestic Society. Her next assignment: find a bride for Preston Knowles, Duke of Middleton. How difficult can it be – As difficult, it seems, as resisting her own attraction to the duke…

Preston has promised himself not to be ruined by love. Yet he’s fantasizing about the lovely matchmaker his mother hired to find him a bride. Millie’s past is shrouded in secret, and the Everton Society forbids relations between employees and clients. But even with so many obstacles against them, Preston longs to convince Millie of his devotion, but what will he think if he discovers the reason for her ruin?

True love never runs smooth but when Millie is faced with the prospect of being blackmailed by the man who ruined her  – who but the Duke will come to her aid and save her!  Delightful story!  

 

Review Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale

Duchess by Design

Published October 23rd 2018 by Avon

Series:  The Gilded Age Girls Club #1

First of all – I absolutely LOVED this story!!!   Not only was it the first book in a  new series which I love to start from the beginning but Maya Rodale is a “new” author for me!  I have heard of her and seen her name many times but ashamedly I had never read her.  THAT is going to change!

Becoming a duke Brandon Fiennes, took his duties seriously especially having inherited a bankrupt estate along with the title and his dowager duchess mother and two sisters who needed to be taken care of.  Brandon had always been dependable and did his best keeping the estates afloat in spite of his father’s wasteful ways.   However, unless he found a wealthy bride his cause was hopeless.  

Heading to America he was on the lookout for a wealthy heiress who would trade their wealth for a title as a Duchess.  In fact he felt pretty lucky when he happened to bump into a young woman, Adeline Black, who totally intrigued him and seemed to occupying the suite next to his.  Unfortunately, she was simply a seamstress who was calling on the real heiress.  However the heart knows its own mind and after Adeline is found out to be what she purported to be Brandon did start shopping the New York heiresses, only to discover none measured up to Adeline.  

Expect the unexpected but told in a delightful and fun way as both find that true love leads to unexpected and surprising results.   A wonderful full bodied and delightful story.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Lies we Told by Camilla Way

Lies we Told

Published October 9th 2018 by Berkley

Rating: 5*

Looking for a dark psychological read with twisted characters, then you should definitely pick this one up!   It was a bit difficult to wrap my head around the swapping around of families who seemed to have nothing to do with one another but wow, the connection was pretty amazing.

Clara has been in 7th heaven that she had seemed to catch the best looking guy at work – and they were even living together!  But then Luke, didn’t come home one night and seemed to disappear, most folks assumed he dumped her.   But Clara knew more than anyone else – Luke had a stalker! 

There were complications in Luke’s family – Luke’s older sister, Emily who had vanished twenty years earlier, suddenly contacts Clara but doesn’t want Clara to tell anyone of her existence, or she’ll disappear again.     Emily wants to help Clara find Luke, but won’t tell Clara why she disappeared 20 years earlier, leaving Clara to wonder what Emily’s end game seems to be.   

There are a lot of questions you’ll be thinking of when you read this.  The biggest one is what really happened 20 years ago and why is no one discussing what happened, including Luke’s brother Tom who seems very angry with everyone.

Marilyn Rondeau 

Review: House of Gold by Natasha Solomons

House of Gold

Published May 3rd 2018 by Cornerstone Digital

I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting with this book but suffice it to say, I really enjoyed it!   At first I was in concert with Greta’s dilemma of having no say in who she married as it was decreed by her family – but like a good daughter Greta went thru with the marriage even though the groom didn’t put in an appearance.   However, when he did arrive while Greta was kind of bashing  the ‘poor husband’ he attempted to inject a bit of levity into the situation.  I did get a chuckle out of that!

Greta’s family branch was from Austria, and Albert (her husband) was from the even wealthier Goldbaum family of London.  Having understood right from the beginning how wealthy the Goldbaum dynasty was it was a real eye opener to see just how the wealthy and mighty lived as opposed to the folks who lived in the sewers and fed on their scraps.   

Greta and Albert’s marriage had started out with two individuals who tolerated one another and after a few years, they even became friends.  Finally as Greta finally seemed to find happiness the political upheavals started to make themselves known and all the wealth of the Goldbaums had no way of altering history as the Great War began.     The Goldbaums found their dynasty about to crack as they found themselves on separate sides.

An excellent read and historically interesting – giving this reader pause to digest the madness of power and persecution.  

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Cut and Run by Mary Burton

Cut and Run

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 321 pages    Published October 9th 2018 

Montlake Romance                Rating:  5*

Never fear if you are looking for a great “who done it” with unspeakable and brutal crimes by psychopaths – Mary Burton is sure to fulfill all those needs.  Not only that but you’ll have terrific characters who are fleshed out admirably and in some instances with their motivation built right into the dynamics of the story.  However, you probably will not figure out the bad guy until very close to the end.  

What sets this one apart is the mystery of the twin sisters who were separated at birth.  As a medical examiner Faith is  reunited only to realize that her identical twin sister might never live to know who she is.  Faith McIntyre knew she had been adopted but her sister, FBI Agent Macy Crow, the victim of a hit and run, might not live to be introduced.  Macy had stumbled into a discovery that put her into the cross hairs of someone who wasn’t ready for the world to know of their crimes.

Fabulous twist ending! 

Marilyn Rondeau

Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti

HIDDEN

Published- 9/25/18.                                             Rating:  5*

Series:  (Deep Ops #1)

Wow, I am so happy that I got a review copy on the first book of this series, because if the first book is any indication of the rest of what one can expect – this will prove to be a big hit.  The two lead characters are introduced right from the beginning where Pippa seems a bit of a recluse; and Malcolm West is suffering PTSD after being undercover for the last two years and barely escaping with his life after being stabbed and shot.  

What Malcolm didn’t realize was this quaint little house his realtor found him in an out of the way spot was next door to a fabulous looking young woman whom he sensed was in trouble.  Mal soon found out that the house and the neighbor were not random coincidences, that he’d been set up.   It seems that the ‘recluse’ was on a most wanted list from both the government and a dangerous cult leader.

The suspense and mystery of what Pippa knows, or knew and how Mal works her wanting not believe she is innocent and trying to prove it make for a thrill of a ride.  But that’s not all – wait until you meet the rest of the Deep Ops Team, including Roscoe the German Shepherd, Nari the shrink, Brigid the IT super sleuth; and a myriad of other colorful agents on this Deep Ops Team!   They are all a hoot – but a ‘deadly’ one!   Awesome book – loved every minute! 

Marilyn Rondeau