Review: Lady Sophies Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

Rating 4*

Lady Sophie Windham only wanted a few days of quiet solitude before joining her family before she  joined her family for Christmas in Kent. Before Sophie knew it one of her servants took off leaving Sophie holding the tweeni’s 2 month old infant and trapped by a London snowstorm turned blizzard.   Now she finds herself with an abandoned baby and thankfully one kindly, handsome stranger who recognized her dilemma and offered his assistance.

Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. He is returning to the childhood home he never wished to revisit but as the presumptive heir he had put it off long enough – duty prevailed.   However, Mother Nature was about to step in and change his traveling plans.  Assisting Sophie to her home in the storm which was getting worse found him stranded along with this intrepid young woman. Who was she -really that she could invite him to stay in such splendid home?

Obviously, Vim’s growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits–but when Sophie’s brothers whisk her away, Vim’s most painful holiday is returning memories are reawakened.   It seems Sophie’s keeping secrets, as well as himself and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make Sophie’s deepest wishes come true…

Absolutely charming and lovely story for the holidays.  Characters were fleshed out beautifully and the addition of baby Kit added delightful humor along with the sweet sensuality of a budding love story.

Marilyn Rondeau 

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

Review: The Duke is But a Dream by Anna Bennett

NET GALLEY – July 30, 2019 (Debutante Diaries #2)

Rating: 5*

First of all I really loved this book.  It wasn’t unusual in nature as I have read others that have the same type if scenario where one of the protagonists gets bumped in the head and has amnesia – not knowing who they are!  Yes it is definitely a very effective storyline used in so many ways.  But author, Anna Bennett, did a masterful job of keeping the story fresh, sensual and totally endearing.

Not only had Miss Lily Hartley lost her memory and didn’t remember that what she did on the side; being a published author of an advice column for debutantes that was quite scandalous; her reputation would be ruined.   

Dressed as a lad her savior didn’t realize she was a woman till her hat got knocked off.  But seeing the hands of lady he saw no other choice than to bring her home where he and his sister could care for her.  Although whether she was a gentlewoman or simply a vagrant he couldn’t discern, but what he felt when she was washed up and clean was attraction; something he, the Duke of Stonebridge , hadn’t felt in some years.  

Naturally, not knowing whether Lily had family, a beau, or even a husband wasn’t the main concern.  Discovering who she was would be the primary problem to overcome, but the closer they came to uncovering her identity, the realization that he didn’t want to let her go was a problem they would both have to deal with.

Great fleshed out characters, scenarios, and sensuality.  The only problem I had with the book – it ended too soon!    If I had seen the gorgeous cover before hand, I would have picked it up just for the cover!!    Highly recommended!

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: No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman

Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages        Expected publication: April 30th 2019 by St. Martin’s

ISBN13: 9781250121677                         Series: Playful Brides #11

Rating: 4-1/2*

I absolutely loved this book!  It was so lifelike in that here are two protagonists, Delilah and Thomas,  who grew up sharing many daring escapades together and were like brother and sister with everything in common!  Perfect together but ‘clueless’ in that they couldn’t quite see they were made for one another!  But I digress.

Lady Delilah Montebank is a treasure, only her mother doesn’t see it and has hounded Deliliah to find a husband – or she’ll find one for her!  After being picked on once too many times Delilah pronounced she would have the most eligible Duke of Branville up to snuff by her birthday – within weeks of her announcement!  

Her best friend, Lord Thomas Hobbs, the Duke of Huntley, thinks Delilahs quest to become a Duchess is ridiculous.  Naturally he was a confirmed bachelor.  But with Delilah thinking her ‘love potion’could possibly win over Branville, Thomas switches rooms whereby Delilah mistakenly gave Thomas the potion.  

With room switching and ladies attempting to compromise other bachelors at the house party, the story gets pretty hilarious at times.  But when push came to shove it would be Dukes to the rescue, but who would win the prize of Lady Delilah?

To find out I highly recommend you read the book!  

Marilyn Rondeau

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: Tempt Me With Diamonds by Jane Feather

Expected publication: January 29th 2019 by Zebra         ISBN13: 9781420143607

Series:   London Jewels #1                                            Rating:  4*

Wealthy heiress, Diana Sommerville, both beautiful and intelligent has finally returned home after overseeing her family’s diamond mines and taking care of her beloved brothers remains who had been killed in the Boar Wars in Africa.  She wanted peace and solitude when she arrived at her family home, but instead she found to her horror that Rupert Lacey, the man she once loved and now loathed had moved in before her return and intended to stay!

Rupert Lacey had grown up with Diana and her brother.  They were best friends and Diana was going to marry Rupert until she discovered that he had been unfaithful.  However, her brother, unbeknownst to her, had left a will naming Rupert his beneficiary to share Diana’s wealth and home.  

*** One can imagine the scenario’s that commenced when Diana was faced with the fact that her beloved brother had left his shares of diamond mines, a prize race horse, and her family home and properties to her former fiance!   Try as she might, legally there was nothing Diana could do to wrest control from Rupert! Worse, most people assumed they had married while abroad and to keep herself from utter ruin while living in the same house, Diana had to pretend they were man and wife.

Try as she might, Diana was not immune to Rupert and the passion that existed between them sizzled. It would take honesty and truth to set them free to love again which is exactly what they each wanted should these two stubborn souls admit to themselves.  

Great story – fast read and paced well!

Marilyn Rondeau

REVIEW: The Good, the Bad, and the Duke by Janna MacGregor

368 pages       Publication: November 27th 2018 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

ISBN13: 9781250295972         Rating 5*

Can’t say when I enjoyed a story more! Historical romances are my favorite and THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DUKE by Janna MacGregor was one I truly enjoyed.  

Lady Daphne Hallworth was ready to celebrate the holidays with her family but all the participants left assuming everyone had a ride.  At first quite piqued that she was left home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers.  Taking a bit of time out for a walk, she sat in the park and thought to make some notations in her very private journal, when a young pickpocket grabbed her reticule with the journal in it.   Giving chase she ran into her  brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart.   Her personal journal holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land, which Daphne wanted for her Home for unwed mothers, brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. 

Lady Daphne has held a tendre for Paul for most of her life, and in spite of the conflict between her brother and his once best-friend – Daphne still held him in her heart.  Amidst lots of scenarios between Daphne and Paul while he does his best to protect Daphne from ruin as her stubbornness of wanting to retrieve her journal leads her to several locations a lady never should be in, their passions ignite.  And in trying to turn over a new leaf, will Paul’s efforts to help turn her brother into wanting to call Paul out!

Marilyn Rondeau

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