Review: Anything But A Duke by Christy Carlyle

Publish date  – 4/30/19     by Avon                                

ISBN13: 9780062854001              Series  Duke’s Den #2

Take one very independent lady who has the  capability and quick mind for inventions and one self-made man who often backs said entrepreneurs and what you get is an intriguing story of two brilliant people who haven’t got a clue that they were meant for each other.  

Perhaps because self-made man Aidan Iverson had more doors closed  in his thirty years than he’s ever cared he wasn’t being as broad minded by Ms Diana Ashby’s need to be recognized for the useful things she had invented.   As a member of the elite Duke’s Den, he has all the money he could possibly need, but the one thing he can’t purchase is true power. If roguish Aidan can’t buy his way into the aristocratic  hallowed halls, he’s ready to try a more extreme measure: marriage.

As  a proper lady, the only thing Diana Ashby desires is to be left alone to create her own devices. When her dreams are crushed, she must find another way to secure the backing for her invention. Knowing Aidan’s desire to enter her world, Diana strikes a deal to arrange Aidan’s marriage to a perfect lady—as long as that lady isn’t her. Diana doesn’t want any distractions from her work, particularly of the sinfully handsome variety.   As Diana and Aidan set out to find him an aristocratic match, neither are prepared for the passion that ignites between them or the love they can’t ignore.

So much fun, loved all the gadgets Diana came up with to make life easier!  Definitely can recommend this book.

Marilyn Rondeau

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REVIEW: MARRYING WINTERBOURNE BY LISA KLEYPAS

Review: Marrying Winterbourne By Lisa Kleypas

Publishing – May 31, 2019

ISBN13: 9780062371843.            SeriesThe Ravenels #2

Characters  Lady Helen Ravenel, Rhys Winterborne

First of all MARRYING WINTERBOURNE was delightful and Ms Kleypas’        originality and creative scenarios have left me with that wonderful ahhhhhh…. feeling once again.     I discovered Lisa Kleypas many years ago, and I find that as the years progress her writing  gets more and more refined like a fine wine. It just gets better than ever and one must give high marks to this new series The Ravenels.    

Common-born Rhys Winterborne’s vast wealth and success weren’t given to him.  In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants through a unyielding determination to succeed.   From the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. And if it takes ruining her to ensure she marries him, then so be it.  However as his all consuming lust changes into a love he’s never felt before, he’s afraid of losing her.

Right from the start Lady Helen was a bit frightened of the Rhys but as she gets to know him better she sees the vulnerability and the gentleness of the man.   Helen realizes she is in love with Rhys but then discovered something about herself that could destroy the man she loves.  Her biggest decision, should she trust in love or continue the lie that if Rhys knew would destroy his faith in her?

Marilyn Rondeau

REVIEW: Missing Pieces by Susan Clayton-Goldner

  • Print Length: 274 pages.           Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing (April 17, 2019)
  • ASIN: B07PGR4Y3M                           RATING: 5*

How many times have you uttered or thought the words, I hate you I wish you were dead about a parent?  Well most teens might have that reaction when the words “NO” were uttered when you really thought you were in the right and the parent was stupid and didn’t understand. However for Emma / Lillianna these were thoughts and words she spoke and thought for most of her life against a father whom she basically didn’t understand.  But when it came down to it, would Emma / Lilliana be able to refuse to see or forgive a man who she blamed for what she considered her horrible childhood?

For the last twenty years Lilliana Fergusson pretended her father was dead. She moved to Oregon—far away from her childhood home in Delaware—changed her name from Emma to Lillianna and vowed after her mother died to never go home.  But then her brother, Greg, phoned, begging her to come back to help care for their father who had been diagnosed with a dangerous, aortic aneurysm.  Again Lilliana is adamant in her refusal. When did her father, ever take care of her?

Speaking to her husband after refusing her brother, Lilliana was convinced that yes, it was her decision, and yet maybe she needed to give herself one last chance before regrets would be all she had left.

Lilliana’s father, Calvin Miller, was a disabled WWII veteran. He had survived a grenade explosion that killed his best friend and  took off most of his right hand as well as leaving him with osteomyelitis in his leg, a bone-destroying infection, that refused to heal. His surgeon believes Calvin’s only chance for survival is amputation of his leg before trying to fix the aneurysm.  Would Lillianna be able to put to rest the hatred she’d held for the father she ran from twenty years prior and would some of that healing fold over to herself as she learned about the life her father had lived.   Can she leave her safe life and reenter the minefield of her childhood?

Exceptional writing and hard to put down – Highly recommended.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea

  • Print Length: 304 pages    Publisher: Kensington (May 28, 2019)
  • Publication Date: May 28, 2019    Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • ASIN: B07H1ZKXTP                  RATING: 5 *

This was a book that was given to me by an author I had never read before – I was given a description and found it interesting so I agreed to read and give an honest review. Thank you Charlie Donlea for allowing me a first glance into SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS.   After turning the final page the words that came to mind are Brilliant – Edge of the Seat Suspense – Intense – and Fascinating.

I wasn’t quite sure as to what Rory Moore, a forensic reconstructionist, was but discovered she was masterful at taking on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others failed to see.  Rory was very picky about what cases she would take on  because of the intensity of the work and reconstructing a victims life.  However, after cleaning out her deceased father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more – one she couldn’t refuse to work on. 

In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing no clues – no bodies.  The villain was nicknamed The Thief . Finally the police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father’s law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, details which had been buried for forty years!

Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As this reader sped thru the pages, even she was surprised at the full, terrifying truth that emerged!

Mark this one down as a winner and pre-order!  Like me you won’t be able to put it down once you start it!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Highland Crown by May McGoldrick

Publication: April 30th 2019 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks     Rating: 5*

ISBN13: 9781250314970                Series:   Royal Highlander #1

If you are anything like me when looking to read Historical fiction I simply adore it when the author is able to weave in actual events of historical nature into the fiction making me think – yes, this could be very true!  In Isabella and Cinaed’s case who’s to say these adventures didn’t take place.  Who indeed?

Isabella was unique in that in the 1820’s she was a doctor and had passed the tests to practice medicine.  Although it was generally at the side of her doctor father and later doctor husband that she would practice.  Dedicated to healing she tried to overlook the Highland rebel activities she knew her husband was involved in.  And it did come to pass that the rebels were rounded up during an ambush where her husband was killed but Isabella escaped with her sister and his daughter.  Now guilt by association, the English authorities had set a bounty on her head.    Spirited away by a friend she was handed over to a woman  Anna  who had no use for  an English woman and if she knew of the bounty Isabella would have been turned over to the authorities in a heartbeat.

Enter Cinaed Mackintosh, a ships captain who had after being thrown into the rocks from a horrible storm then had to destroy what was left of his ships cargo and the ship before the English discovered him. Unfortunately, the people who scavenge for loot don’t want to see survivors so he was shot and left for dead.   Isabella, found him and there was no way she would let a living soul perish if she didn’t try her best to save him!  

The rest of the story is what you will have to read your self. Where you will meet a plethora of secondary characters whom you’ll love and hate, but you won’t forget. Highly recommended for the adventure, the fast pace, and the lovely romance.  And as an added bonus a pretty surprising ending!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Trouble With Vampires by Lynsay Sands

Publication Date – 4/30/19

Publication: April 30th 2019 by Avon                     ASIN: B07C67Q8D6

Series: Argeneau #29                      Rating:   4*

Petronella Stone a history professor, was not in the least annoyed when her sister called in a favor – would Pet come and stay at her home to watch Parker, her brilliant 6 year old nephew?  Actually, Pet would never give up time to spend with the adorable tyke and they had settled in admirably.

For the last three thousand years big and handsome Santo Notte has fought in armies across the world and battled his own, more personal enemies. Of all the places he might expect to encounter his life mate, a quiet corner of upstate New York didn’t seem likely. But spotting Pet while hunting down a suspected rogue immortal, he knows that she will be the greatest adventure of his eternal life.

Once Pet realizes what he is he expects her to be surprised, confused, even overwhelmed. What he doesn’t expect is that Pet has a secret history of her own.  Their attraction and passion is mutual, but Pet is having second thoughts as to whether she even likes the gruff one-word responses she gets while trying to make conversation.   Santo, just has never had to deal with a 20th century woman before and needs to learn real quick before he loses the one woman he’s waited for his entire life!

Bottom line – I love Lynsay Sands writing and the Argeneau series is the bomb!  Santo and Pet are a riot together, not to mention the interactions you get with Parker’s innocent observations!  Love the kid!  The fans of this series are going to love this latest entry.  And may I say, it’s never too late to read any of this series as most are stand-alone and always bring recurring characters back and forth!

Marilyn Rondeau 

Review: To Wed an Heiress by Karen Ranney

EBOOK:   400 pages                         Publication: March 26th 2019 by Avon

ISBN 13:  9780062841070                                          Series   All for Love #2

Rating:   5*

In an attempt to escape what was seeming like a forced marriage, Mercy Rutherford  traveled to Scotland to escape the possessive grip of her fiancé. Unfortunately, on the last leg of her trip to see her grandmother a monster flew out of the sky and landed on her carriage.  Well, not really a monster but some kind of flying machine and a very abrupt and man who was more worried about his machine than the condition of she and her maid.  However, after introductions were made Ross Caithart brought her to his castle and set her maids broken arm and stitched Mercy’s gash in her head.

To all intents and purposes Ross Caithart most certainly was mad. Handsome beyond words, he’s also causing an irresistible flutter in Mercy’s stomach beyond reason. But as soon as Mercy mentioned her grandmother – Ross made the connection and made haste to get her out of his castle and up to Mercy’s kin.  However, if Mercy was expecting loving arms happy to see her, she was sadly mistaken and her arrival was met with contempt and derision.  All because of arriving in the Caithart carriage?   

When Mercy’s fiancé Gregory arrives to see their arranged marriage to its bitter end, Mercy desperately turns to Ross with an offer of her fortune—and her hand in marriage.  The Earl of Morton has a reputation for being an eccentric, but even he is hesitant to engage in such a rash proposition—no matter how utterly beguiled he is by the wildly independent American heiress. And yet, with so much at stake, how can he possibly say no?

Bottom line I truly enjoyed this novel as much as the rest of the titles this author has put out over the years.  This has just the right amount of action, adventure, sensualness, and rivalry making for a fascinating read. 

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Besquets

  • Publisher: Berkley (March 5, 2019)  ISBN-13: 978-0399587047
  • Rating:   4-1/2*

After so many years of trying to jumping from one job to the next Marian Engstrom finally discovered her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife.  Somewhat of a loner she was content and happy with the dogs and her first assignment took her to Alberta, where her love for the dogs seemed to cross over to her mentor Tate.   Eventually the assignments seperated them and shortly thereafter Marian heard the devastating news of Tate’s death.  

Bad enough how horrendous the news which had splintered her soul, but some of the stories and information he had given her were coming back to her and the inconsistencies were beginning to show her a completely different person than the one man she had taken on as a lover.   There had been several unsolved murders that had occurred in the surrounding area and Marian was beginning to believe that possibly Tate had been responsible.

In an effort to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…

***  This was both an interesting novel in the content of discovering how the people lived and studied to help endangered wildlife.  The lonely life alone and learning to survive in the wild was extremely interesting.  The investigation into Tate and discovering whether he was or wasn’t the murderer was filled with suspense right through to the end.   While the use of  Nick, her forensic investigator was another interesting character as he did all he could to help Marian keep herself on track and ultimately helped save her life.    Extremely good read and very much recommended.

Marilyn Rondeau 

Review: SAY YOU’RE SORRY by by Karen Rose

Kindle Edition, 608 pages

Publication: February 21st 2019 by Headline    ASIN: B07CG6QP5P

Series  Sacramento #1                                     Rating 5*

I have recently become a great fan of Ms. Robards and know without reading a review what to expect.  Fabulous intelligent writing, awesome character building, fast action, and truly bad-ass villains, whom you simply cannot wait for them be found out and dealt with!  Often times as in SAY YOUR SORRY, you may even feel some compassion for the villain based upon what factors led them to conduct such heinous crimes. 

FBI Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of a cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a friend calls to show him a piece of evidence from a young woman who fought off an attacker. With that Gideon’s  world was about to come to a screeching halt!

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain – but she’s done being a victim and a prisoner. Brave and determined, Daisy is not going to let anyone take away her independence again. However her newly appointed intensely dark FBI investigator and bodyguard is certainly appealing to her passionate side.

Soon it appears clear that Daisy’s attack was just the beginning when bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California.  As Gideon and friends work to find the killer, it’s clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realized.

***  As an introduction to Ms. Robards newest series opener, you are introduced to a whole new plethora of family which I am sure will play central roles in this new series.  I love how Ms, Robards invites you into loving family scenario’s to a place to feel safe, when all around you the villains are spreading horror and hatred.   As the intro to her new series SACRAMENTO – I personally cannot wait for her to hurry up with the next books in this run.   Love and highly recommend!

Marilyn Rondeau