Review: Outlaw Wolves

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OUTLAW WOLVES is author Heather Long at her best. I have to admit that I was not particularly fond of Luciana in her other appearances, so for a writer to be able to take that person and turn them into someone likable, even sympathetic is rather amazing;

Luciana and her husband Rayne had gathered up lone wolves and gave them a pack, setting up in Seven Hills. This wasn’t something that was easily accepted by the other pack alphas. Cool heads prevailed and the new pack was watched closely. Then Luciana made a mistake and allowed the Russian wolves free passage through her territory. That itself is a different story, but to protect her Rayne challenges her and wins. She feels betrayed though she had admitted, though only to herself, that she had missed some things a good alpha should have known about her people

Communication is usually the root of all problems and this is evidently one of those times. So a little work in that field is necessary and a bit of cleaning up a problem that arises from her brothers pack and then they will be able to work together. That’s what Rayne wants after all.

We also get to meet up with a number of past characters that were much loved and/or feared in the “Wolves of Willow Bend” series. If you want to know who you need to read OUTLAW WOLVES.

 

Review: An American Duchess by Caroline Fyffe –

Paperback, 348 pages      Publication: June 25th 2019 by Montlake Romance

ISBN13: 9781542091671

Rating: 4*

The rules of Victorian society are defied in  bestselling author Caroline Fyffe’s novel of romance, royalty, and a little revenge.

In Kent, England, the arrival of Beranger Northcott, Duke of Brightshire, causes quite a stir.  Berenger left home more than 15 years ago, never expecting to return. Never expecting that he was th legitimate heir to a dukedom he brings with him his new American bride, who isn’t quite what anyone expects!  By accepting the hand of her beloved, Emma Brinkman went from hardworking Colorado rancher to duchess. Now she’s expected to comport herself as nobility. Overnight. For Emma—stifled, homesick, and unable to shake the feeling she’s being watched—the metamorphosis is a challenge. And if Emma’s suspicions are correct, perhaps even a dangerous one.

Not one to deal in formality, Emma makes friends with the help and fortunately, for Emma she has found a trusted friend in the orphaned Charlotte, Brightshire’s scullery maid.   Charlotte has dreamt if only for a moment what it would be like to live a privileged  life with out the daily back breaking life she’s lived—if only for a moment. When one of the duke’s handsome cousins takes notice of Charlotte, the castle kitchen is set abuzz with speculation that she just might be swayed into being ruined.  

In navigating their two different stations, both Charlotte  and Emma alike will discover all they have in common—from secret fantasies to daring hearts to upending the rules of society. And that finding their places in the world—and love—is a dream that can come true.

Very charming story which I could have fallen in love with.  Just a bit of nitpicking here though that I thought a bit more editing of starting and stopping their stories would have made for a smoother read.  Otherwise, I truly liked this story.

Marilyn Rondeau

REVIEW: Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor

  • Print Length: 380 pages                                 ISBN: 1250295998
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks    Publication Date: June 25, 2019
  • Rating: 5*

Right from the description I had a feeling I was going to love this story – and I was right!  Lady Theodora Worth had grown up on a remote Scottish estate by her loving grandfather, actually a pretty idyllic childhood, until her grandfather began to show signs of forgetfulness and Theodora then fell into the reverse roll of caring for him.     As a Countess in her own right she had kept the estate of Ladykyrk in excellent shape and the many tenants happy – well nourished and thriving.   However when her grandfather died the new Duke challenges her claim to the title and Ladykyrk estate.  Her long time lawyer (who now threw his lot in with the ‘new’ duke) advised her she needed a husband.    Thea’s wise elderly neighbor with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a dashing great-nephew just might have  the answer to Thea’s prayers. Except Thea has no intention of marrying the first man she meets, even if he’s so handsome he makes her flesh tingle!  

Naturally, Lord William Cavensham would do most anything to keep his Aunt happy but after a very youthful heartbreaking experience he was gun-shy of ever putting his heart on the line again.  But, there was no denying his honor and to help this beautiful lady in need he would be her ‘best’ friend and help her in anyway he could!

With wonderful dialogs, characters, and l even a nasty new duke there were many moments during the reading of this tome that I sat back in pleasure to simply bask in the delightful story.  One of the more relaxed (even if I had rouble putting it down) books I’ve read this summer!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Moscow Deception by Karen Robards

ublished June 12th 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton        ASIN B0723HDKHJ

Series: The Guardian #2                                              Rating:  5*

Bianca St. Ives makes her living as a high-end thief and a genius of disguise, conning criminals out of the money they stole – and all for the greater good. A femme fatale Robin Hood, she’s been taught everything she knows from her father. Since their last heist gone bad, Bianca has taken over running the family business, it’s not just Richard St. Ives on most-wanted lists, but Bianca, too.

After faking his own death, the word is out that Bianca’s father is, in fact, alive, and having just pulled off a major heist in Austria, he has a dangerous task for Bianca that will see her traveling to Russia to steal ancient jewels and artifacts. But now all eyes are on Bianca, and escaping international pursuit will be harder than ever. And especially her drop dead gorgeous pursuer.

I have to say – I am so LOVING this series!   There is nothing better than a kick-ass bad-ass heroine and Bianca St. Ives fills the role to perfection!  Kudo’s to Karen Robards for her art of making one truly feel the emotions of the characters she creates.  Along with Bianca, her enigmatic pursuer is surely a darn hottie and perfect for her but for some reason he can’t seem to hold on to her!   Add to that her extremely capable staff and ‘DOC’ her IT genius and it’s hard to stop her no matter how insane her escapades end up as the entire world – wants to kill her!  Ah, but that is the mystery isn’t it ?

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Orphan’s Song by Lauren Kate

Hardcover, 336 pages                 Publication: June 25th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

ISBN13: 9780735212572                 Rating:  5*

Venice (Italy) 

Based on the  intertwined fates of two Venetian orphans in Venice, 1736, fate brings Violetta and Mino together on the roof of the Hospital of the Incurables. They formed a connection that will change their lives forever. Both are orphans at the Incurables, dreaming of escape. But when the resident Maestro notices Violetta’s voice, she is selected for the Incurables’ world famous coro, and must sign an oath never to sing beyond its church doors.

Years before Violetta had seen and saved Mino after she witnessed his mother leaving him at the Incurables (where unwanted babies were left and brought up as orphans) Mino desperately wanted to find his mother and after his declaration of love ends in heartbreak, Mino flees the Incurables in search of his family. 

Known as the “city of masks,” Venice is full of secrets, and Mino is certain one will lead to his long-lost mother. Without him, the walls close in on Violetta and she begins a dangerous and forbidden nightlife, hoping her voice can secure her freedom. But neither finds what they are looking for, until a haunting memory Violetta has suppressed since childhood leads them to a shocking confrontation.

THE ORPHAN’S SONG is mesmerizing, emotional, and totally spellbinding.  The history of the city of Venice in that century made for such a compelling read.   The sensuality and romance was both thrilling, emotional, and exciting.  And the reveal of Mino’s mother was a thrilling twist.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Say No to The Duke by Eloisa James

ebook, 384 pages          Publication: June 25th 2019 by Avon

ISBN13: 9780062877840                    Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4

Rating:  5*

Beautiful, accomplished and with a mind of her own, Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed!  Unfortunately, her wild nature being what it was she wants one great adventure before marriage!       Obviously no gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. 

If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches. If he wins – she is his, for one night.  Jeremy has suffered over what his actions during the war in America ended up losing his entire regiment.  Jeremy’s  latest show of unfeeling and drunkenness is not who he truly is.   But Jeremy realizes that one night with Betsy will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say NO to the duke. 

Leave it to Ms, James to come up with another sensual and emotionally packed wonderful read.  Both the Duke and Jeremy were wonderful candidates for Betsy’s hand in marriage – I really loved them both and Betsy’s struggle in making the right decision was a really tough one!  

No hints here but all was not as it seemed to be an easy choice!   Just pick up this book and wrap yourself in romantic bliss – with a few chuckles along the way!

Marilyn Rondeau

REVIEW: The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

Kindle Edition, 368 pages                               Published June 13th 2017 by MIRA

Series:   The Guardian #1                                 Rating:  5*

Thief. Manipulator. Con artist. Call it what you will—Bianca St. Ives is the best in the business. Additionally, I shall also add that the author and creator of ULTIMATUM is a master story teller and gave me hours of entertainment in the listening of this audiobook.   And more importantly, I discovered it is Book ONE of the GUARDIAN Series and I fully intend to read the next two installments in the very near future.  

Growing up, Bianca St. Ives knew she was different from all her friends. Instead of playing hopscotch or combing her dolls’ hair, she was sent to study martial arts with sensei masters and dismantle explosives with special-ops retirees. Her father, a man with many identities,  prepped her well to carry on the family business. Now a striking beauty with fierce skills, the prodigy has surpassed the master.

Working with her father, she makes a living swindling con men out of money they stole. She also does things on her own terms. But her latest gig went FUBAR—if you count two hundred million dollars and top secret government documents going missing and seeing her father blown up during the mission. The problem now is, the US government doesn’t believe he’s really dead. They’ll stop at nothing to capture Richard St. Ives, a high-value target and someone who has been on most-wanted lists all over the world for over two decades.  The people don’t really know that much about using Bianca as bait but know she could lead them to Richard St. Ives.   With only a fellow criminal for backup and her life on the line, it’s up to Bianca to uncover the terrifying truth of who Richard St. Ives is and discover truths of her own life to set it right, before it’s too late. 

This was an absolute rush of entertainment pleasure with an amazing pace and suspense that kept me listening avidly way past my bedtime.   Great imagery and descriptive language of visualizing all the many tools of the trade and setting the scenes of each exploit.   Can’t wait to follow up on this series!!!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: More Than Anything by Natasha Anders

Publish:  June 11th 2019 by Montlake Romance       ASIN: B07KXMVBR6

Series:    Broken Pieces #1                        Rating:  5*

In a nutshell –  I really, really loved this story!   The protagonists grew up as neighbors.  Tina Jenson was the pesky little sister of her brother Smith’s best buddy Harris Chapman.   Harris was a few years older, and may or may not have recognized the pure adoration and major crush Tina had on him.  After all in her mind Harris was the most handsomest man alive in spite of him having an identical twin brother.   

Tina was self conscious of her well developed body after her mother constantly found fault with her looks, leaving Tina in a state of very low self esteem. But regardless of her big boobs and big booty, Tina was determined to have a grand time at Harris and his twin brother Greyson’s 20th birthday celebration.  As it happened it turned out to be the best (Tina and Harris jumped into bed together) and the worst  (when she overhears crude and hateful comments the next morning) night of Tina’s life.

Ten years later, Tina’s life is a mess. THE night with Harris didn’t just hurt her feelings; it started a cascade of disappointment and soul searing heartbreak. Every time she bumps into Harris, her heart twists inside out. She is constantly trying to hate the very sight of him, yet still wants him.  Truthfully, she’s harboring a painful secret from their night together that she’s not ready to reveal.

Crossed signals, high-society whispers, and shame have kept Tina and Harris apart for years, but deep down, they’re hungry for each other and eager to write their own rules. The story combines huge betrayals and a huge emotional roller coaster of misunderstood comments, finger pointing and some very hot sensual laden scenes.  With so much history of failing and feeling like a failure, it was taking its toll of both on Tina and Harris who was trying his best to convince her she was truly an  amazing woman!  

Loved the pace, the prose and the emotion!  Great read.

Review: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Series:  (Hot and Hammered #1)    Rated:  5*

This was a brand new author for me and the first book of a new series by a New York times best selling author.  Love discovering new authors (even if they’ve been around for a while) and FIX HER UP was indeed a fun read for me. Just have to say, I loved the story, loved the characters, loved the humor, and it hit all the ahhh spots in a lovely romance!

Georgette “Georgie” Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town.  As the youngest sibling she picked balloons instead of blueprints and her family has never taken her seriously since. Georgie loves what she does; planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh.  Although, she has plans to expand into a full entertainment venue; along with spicing up her wardrobe;  working on her personal appearance (hair shaping and waxing (?)); and putting herself on the market to stop day-dreaming of her longtime crush of Travis Ford!

Truth! Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, never.  Obviously she’s never been kissed either!  No one takes her seriously that’s for sure. But if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who entertains in a clown suit. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and bad boy tabloid favorite?

After an injury ended his career Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie. Now he’s flipping houses with Georgie’s brother to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. He made a name for himself on and off the field and now he’s having to live with the jokes of his bad boy love-um and leave-um affairs. Then here comes Georgie, his best friend’s little sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she kicks his butt to get him out of his depression she proposes a wild scheme. They’ll pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. It’s not like it’s real, but somewhere along the line, the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her.

Marilyn Rondeau