REVIEW: The Perfect Duchess by Erica Taylor

Perfect Duchess

Paperback, 392 pages                    Publication: April 17, 2018 by Amberjack Publishing

ISBN13: 9781944995577.                    Series:    The Macalisters #2

Andrew Macalister, oft regarded as the Stone Duke of Bradstone, hates his annual birthday ball tradition! He dislikes being a duke; hates the sycophants who only see him for his title; and hates that he has given up a chance to live a normal unencumbered life.  He’s simply biding his time until he can possibly slip away without anyone noticing. However, when he spots Lady Clara Masson across the ballroom he couldn’t quite believe his eyes. Clara’s twin sister is the woman who infamously jilted Andrew at the altar five years ago, but little does Clara know, Andrew had been smitten with her since childhood, and he finds her presence a ray of sunshine in a dreary dukedom. 

However when he notices another ‘Lady’ scornfully harassing Clara over the innuendoes her brother has been passing around to try and destroy her reputation, Andrew has to step up and save her.  They danced and for the first time in a long time Andrew felt himself actually smiling.

Because Clara had disobeyed her brother Jonathan in going to the ball, he was furious and tried to throw her out of his house with the clothes on her back.  A fight ensued and physical blows were rained down on Clara when he knocked her down and she passed out from the severe bump to her head.  It was at that time Andrew arrived to call on Clara when he realized Clara’s life was being threatened by her evil brother. Andrew did the only thing he could think of to save her; propose marriage. Between Clara’s trust issues and Andrew not caring a fig for what the ton thought, as well as Jonathan’s continued atempts to murder Clara, Andrew needed to discover what was going on in a madman’s mind!

Bottom line:  A GREAT read – loved the excitement and suspense of what was behind all of the mystery surrounding the Masson twin sisters!

Marilyn Rondeau

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Review: The Hellion by Christi Caldwell

Hellion_Caldwell

Published:   April 3, 2018 by:   Montlake Romance

ISBN:   B07539FLHF                                 Series:    Wicked Wallflowers #1

Adair Thorne was reliving his nightmare! Once again his life was going up in flames.  Luckily none of his family would be dying this day but his gaming-hell dream was simply being turned into ashes.  Problem was he was certain he knew the rival gaming hell owner and family, the Killorans, were behind it.   His hatred, fury and passion for the Killorans was palatable, but when he met Cleopatra Killoran, a tart mouthed vixen who has made it her priority to ridicule him at every opportunity. If she were anyone else but a Killoran, Adair would unleash at the passion that devours him each time he looks at her.

No one can make Cleopatra do anything she doesn’t want to, but if it means protecting her siblings she would do it at a cost to her own happiness.  A peace accord had been reached whereby the Black family would sponsor Cleopatra  for a season in order to land a noble husband. But her heart seems to have a mind of it’s own Cleo  cannot allow her head to be turned by the infuriating and darkly handsome Adair Thorne.

*** What a terrific read, and what great characterizations! Can’t help but fall in love with Cleopatra – tough gal with an even tenderer heart she tries to hide from the world.  But little by little Adair, who really didn’t want to give an inch started to see her through different eyes and acknowledged that her ideas for the design of his new gaming-hell were both smart and sensible.  And though she was a slight ‘bit of a thing’ and not his usual type of round and buxom – Cleo was looking mighty fine.

Only one thing that threatens the rules of this game: Cleopatra has a secret! One that could unravel the families’ tenuous truce and shatter the unpredictably sinful romance mounting between the hellion…and a scoundrel who could pass for the devil himself.  But Romance being romance you’ll love the ending just as much as I did!

Marilyn Rondeau

REVIEW: A Lady’s Honor by A.S. Fenichel

Lady'sHonor

Published:   April 3, 2018                     by:   Lyrical Press

ISBN:   B073PB8P6N                     Series:  Everton Domestic Society #1

Rating:     5*

REVIEW:  Phoebe Hallsmith doesn’t regret the years of caring for her ailing grandmother.  No, discovering that the man she was once betrothed to turned out to be a rat-bastard doesn’t really bother her as well; so all in all Phoebe is more or less resigned to ‘spinsterhood’.   She has disappointed her parents and her brother has disowned her since she is now working as an employee of the Everton Domestic Society of London.  Phoebe generally doesn’t accept positions where she is acquainted with the client, but upon a special request she agrees to try and sort out the chaos of her best friend’s grieving husband’s life – Markus Flammel.

After Markus’ wife Emma passed giving birth to a beautiful baby girl he’d been drowning his grief inn a bottle.  Not even his toddler daughter can bring him  any form of happiness.  Phoebe who had been best friends and missed Emma was not about to let Markus get away with drowning his sorrows and neglecting his daughter – not if she had anything to do with it!

***  Again, I have been enthralled and moved by a book! I will also confess that I was originally drawn to this book by the luscious cover art and was thrilled to find that the beauty of the cover translated into a beautiful story as well!  Lucky me!!

Phoebe had known how much her friend Emma loved her husband, although she herself didn’t have that much interaction with him. However, knowing Emma, she knew that only a good, honest, and honorable man could have had her friend so mush in love.   For the sake of Emma’s beautiful daughter Phoebe would fight tooth and nail to bring Markus back to the living.  Once Phoebe convinced Markus to stop drinking and look at his daughter, she began the long process of bringing his estate back to rights and letting him discover the joy of loving the precious gift of his daughter that Emma left behind.

With a few twists and turns from an old beau and a new conquest, Phoebe now had to examine  her heart and decide if falling in love with her best friends widowed husband was the right thing to do.  Also, was Markus ready to move on as well?

Bottom line:  A wonderful story – high five star rating!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch

DevilInScotland

311 pages                     Published January 30th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

ISBN13: 9781250095459                                    Series:  No Ordinary Hero #3

Rating 5*

1806, Callum MacCreath had been a wild and crazy young man all his life – treating life as an unrelenting adventure just drinking and womanizing and no way is marriage in any of his plans.  However, when he learns his childhood best friend Rebecca, and his older steady and upstanding brother Ian announces that they plan to marry Callum’s world turns upside down.   He didn’t realize it but he wanted Becca for his own.  Having been drinking all day Callum was not in his right mind and not only made a fool of himself asking Becca to run away with him, but Becca turned around and gave him a scathing refusal.   Having heard their argument his brother Ian banishes him for his duplicity and betrayal whereby Callum was only too happy to leave Scotland forever….

1816 – Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Ian had died an accidental death, but will Callum blame her for his demise?  Now neither can deny their scorching attraction, but will Callum ever trust her when she is keeping company with the man Callum blames for his brothers death.

*** I have always been a big fan of Suzanne Enoch and I have to say she has never disappointed me with her talent in writing a fully developed novel with extraordinary characters which makes me want to complete reading it in one sitting.  Callum was a great character and it was a pleasure to see him remake himself, after being banished by his only brother and cruelly rejected by the woman he always thought of as his best ‘buddy’ and friend.

One thing he was positive of was that his brother’s death was no accident! Now that the title had reverted to him he knew he had to return to Scotland to discover the truth.  What he never expected was to discover he had a niece whom he hadn’t known about – a child who completely stole his heart from the first moment he met her and he would protect her with his very life.  The fact that her mother Becca was keeping company with one of the prime suspects Callum felt was responsible for the ‘accident’ that  claimed his brothers life.  He would never let his niece be in the company of such a man.

I highly recommend this book and all the wonderful characters you’ll meet from a young precocious child to the four footed pets who form a ‘pack’.   Absolutely wonderful sensual romance and suspense adventure!!!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: A Duke In the Night by Kelly Bowen

Duke in Night

book, 368 pages

Published February 20th 2018 by Forever                               ISBN13: 9781478918554

Series:   The Devils of Dover #1                                            Rating:  5*

August Faulkner is a man of many talents besides being a Duke.  As a young boy he lived by his wits and only by chance, did he inherit a dukedom when a tragedy happened to wipe out the many family members who were closer in line to inherit than he.  Having lived a most destitute childhood he swore he would never be in that poor again.  He is relentless in buying and selling  companies from the mismanagement of aristocratic families who now censure his actions.  So he now makes his transactions less noticeable by using middlemen which is how he managed to acquire Haverall School for Young Ladies.

Clara Hayward, the headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, on the other hand, is above reproach. Yet when she’s reunited with August, all she can think of is the way she felt in his arms as they danced a scandalous waltz ten long years ago.  Even when her head tells her he shouldn’t be trusted, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could break it for good!

***  I was totally swept up in this love story between August and Clara.  He was not a romantic, and sometimes abrasive but I couldn’t help but believe that there was some good in him that Clara recognized in spite of the hurt he dealt her so many years ago.   Naturally his reputation over the last ten years preceded him and even though her passion was electrified by his presence Clara’s head was on straight and kept herself aware of the rumors of his womanizing and his behavior.

Just as Clara couldn’t help herself from her attraction to August, he was having similar feelings himself which he basically refused to let blossom.   August knew he wanted Clara (just like anything else he obtained for himself) but he was having trouble identifying the reason why!   It’s a guy thing!   However, just as I thought he would really screw it up, he came to Clara’s rescue and finally realized what he had almost lost.

Loved this book!

Marilyn Rondeau