Review: How to love a Duke in 10 Days by Kerrigan Byrne

I believe that HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN 10 DAYS is going to be one of the 10 best books I’ve read in 2019!  It was truly a different and original storyline that is unique and fresh and to my mind extremely good.     Famous and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane, knows how to look out for herself, traveling the world over as a famed archeologist.  Nobody but her two closest friends know of the terror that haunts her, and yet, they do NOT know of the blackmailer who has been plaguing her for the last 7 years.   What she needs is a wealthy husband! 

Traveling to meet up with her two best friends, Lady Cecilia and Lady Francesca (who is about to be married to a man she hates) Alexandra meets up with a dashing man whom she assumes is the stable master after he claims a runaway stallion who Alexa had caught after he broke away from his handler. The man was striking and it was very unusual for Alexa to ever be attracted to a male but there was something about him….

Piers Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne is seeking revenge and his first step is to secure a bride.  Winning a ladies hand however, is not easy when that man comes with a reputation as the Terror of Torcliff.   When Alexandra enters his life his whole resolve changed, when she proposes marriage, he knows that she possesses dark secrets and like him, haunts her being.   Yet, her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens passion and desire within him. Feelings he’s never experienced before.  

***  The question is who is trying to kill him, or could it be who is trying to kill her?  After a few close calls, one can’t quite figure it out!  So many questions as to what is really going on, while passions are simmering and trust is fragile with so many secrets still to be told.  Who is the villain and who is the victim?  Can two hearts trust the other before betrayal tears them apart?   The suspense, sensualness, and romance was divine!   Highly recommended!

Marilyn Rondeau

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Review: BLIND SPOT BY Brenda Novak

(The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #4)

I have been following this series since the very beginning and it has been wonderful.   What an amazing concept with a fast pace, and fascinating characters ! Since the beginning I have been enthralled with Dr. Evelyn Talbot and the whole concept of Hanover House while still trying to capture Jasper Moore!   Her aim is to try and understand the mind of the worst serial killers and discover what makes them tick – Wow!   

In this fourth book of the series, Jasper Moore has finally been caught and Evelyn can examine the mind of the man who tortured her as a teenager and tormented her for so many years.  But utmost in her mind is getting married to Amarok, her Alaska State Trooper love interest, before she delivers their baby!   

Only, Evelyn now has more on her mind than getting married. A psychopath from the much more recent past comes out of nowhere and kidnaps her in broad daylight. Instead of planning her wedding, Evelyn finds herself doing everything she can to survive, save her baby and devise some way to escape while Amarok races the clock to find her – before it’s too late.

Absolutely wonderful pacing with the most unexpected help coming from an unexpected place!   I really can’t wait to find out if Ms. Novak has any more books planned for this series.  It’s really too good to stop here!!!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Chocolate Maker’s Wife by Karen Brooks

Rosamond Tomkins had an almost perfect childhood until her grandmother died and the woman who was her mother reclaimed her to live with her new family and twisted husband.  In her new household she was treated no better than a servant and was mistreated and abused both by step-brothers and especially her step-father.   The day she was almost run over by a wealthy nobleman, Sir Everard Blithman, Rosamond thought she had been saved, but rather traded off one hell for another.  But for one caveat – her mother (bad as she was) made sure that the nobleman married Rosamond before he took her.

Sir Everard recognized not only Rosamonds unusual beauty but the undeniable fact she looked so much like his deceased daughter.  Sir Everard presided over a luxurious London chocolate house where wealthy and well-connected men go to be seen, exchange news, and indulge in the sweet and heady drink to which they have become addicted. It was a life of luxury and power that Rosamund had never imagined for herself, and she thrives in it, quickly becoming the most talked-about woman in society, desired and respected in equal measure. But when disaster strikes, Rosamund stands on the brink of losing all she possesses. Determined not to return to poverty, Rosamund makes a deal with the devil that could preserve her place in society—or bring her the greatest downfall.  She was set up by a madman, and only her husband’s greatest enemy could save her!  

Absolutely an enthralling historical story set against the decadent, chaotic backdrop of Restoration London, the plague, and the Great Fire.   The Chocolate Maker’s Wife is a tale of revenge and redemption, love and hope—and it is definitely a book I HIGHLY RECOMMEND and I absolutely LOVED IT!!!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Prince Albert by A.N. Wilson

September 3, 2019            Rating:  4*

In actuality I was pretty amazed after reading this book at the intellect of Prince Albert and the role he played during the 20 short years he was married to Victoria.   His accomplishments, his energy and his vision for Britain was quite spectacular – in short, he worked tirelessly and accomplished an enormous transformation of Britain’s vibrant and extraordinary center of political, technological, scientific, and intellectual advancement.  Through Victoria, Albert and her German advisers pioneered the idea of the modern constitutional monarchy.

More importantly, when Albert was made Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in his late twenties [it was considered as purely an honorific role]. But within months, Albert proposed an extensive reorganization of university life which would eventually be adopted, making it possible to study science, languages, and modern history at British universities—a revolution in education that changed the world.  He was probably one of the hardest working royals that ever lived and as a composer, engineer, soldier, politician, linguist, and bibliophile, Prince Albert, more than any other royal, should be classified as a “genius.” 

All in all, while it was somewhat dry reading its was fascinating as well with all the details which the authored garnered in the volumes of correspondence Albert left behind.   When next I continue watching the Masterpiece series of VICTORIA I suspect I will be more fixated on the Prince rather than the Queen!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Discretion by Karina Halle

The Riviera is a most wondrous place – but for Sadie Reynolds, hosteling it by herself after discovering  her boyfriend had left after she uncovered his infidelities, she was anxious to return home.  One wrong turn put her life in jeopardy but never did she expect to be saved by the most handsome stranger who came to her rescue.  When she wakes up she is ensconced in a luxurious suite with views of the Mediterranean and her rescuer, France’s most eligible bachelor Olivier Dumont.  

Olivier, heir to the Dumont fashion fortune, is no stranger to scandal, but Sadie is unlike any woman he’s ever met. He’s promising Sadie something too: anything she wants.  Pulled into Olivier’s world Sadie is witness to wealth, glamour, and excess like she’s never imagined before.  She is also witness to the betrayals and wicked secrets of the entire Olivier family.

*** Ah, to wake up in Prince Charming’s bed and world – such a fairy tale come true and it began that way for Sadie, as Olivier seemed captivated by Sadie, but Sadie knew without a doubt that it couldn’t possibly last. However she was helplessly in love/lust with Olivier and come hell or high water, she wanted to stay by his side.

Sadie was a wonderful character fully fleshed out honest and caring, quite the opposite of all the high profile models and socialites Olivier had been sporting around, but with Sadie he recognized that she was a gem he wanted to keep to himself  which is where the title of the novel probably came from.  Not only that but he didn’t want his relatives/enemies to discover and ruin the first honest relationship he desired to keep – safe from the vultures who were out to destroy him.  

All in all, this was a great read and though I wasn’t thrilled with the ending I am hoping to see in the some really great karma and payback in subsequent volumes!

Marilyn Rondeau