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 

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Review: A Lady’s Escape by A.S. Fenichel

A Lady's Escape

Published October 2nd 2018 by Lyrical Press

Series:  Everton Domestic Society #2                       Rating 4*

Having a most disastrous London debut, Millicent Edgebrook has proven herself skilled at securing matches—for every young lady but herself. Resigned to spinsterhood, and eager to gain independence from her lovable but eccentric uncle, Millie works with the Everton Domestic Society. Her next assignment: find a bride for Preston Knowles, Duke of Middleton. How difficult can it be – As difficult, it seems, as resisting her own attraction to the duke…

Preston has promised himself not to be ruined by love. Yet he’s fantasizing about the lovely matchmaker his mother hired to find him a bride. Millie’s past is shrouded in secret, and the Everton Society forbids relations between employees and clients. But even with so many obstacles against them, Preston longs to convince Millie of his devotion, but what will he think if he discovers the reason for her ruin?

True love never runs smooth but when Millie is faced with the prospect of being blackmailed by the man who ruined her  – who but the Duke will come to her aid and save her!  Delightful story!  

 

Review Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale

Duchess by Design

Published October 23rd 2018 by Avon

Series:  The Gilded Age Girls Club #1

First of all – I absolutely LOVED this story!!!   Not only was it the first book in a  new series which I love to start from the beginning but Maya Rodale is a “new” author for me!  I have heard of her and seen her name many times but ashamedly I had never read her.  THAT is going to change!

Becoming a duke Brandon Fiennes, took his duties seriously especially having inherited a bankrupt estate along with the title and his dowager duchess mother and two sisters who needed to be taken care of.  Brandon had always been dependable and did his best keeping the estates afloat in spite of his father’s wasteful ways.   However, unless he found a wealthy bride his cause was hopeless.  

Heading to America he was on the lookout for a wealthy heiress who would trade their wealth for a title as a Duchess.  In fact he felt pretty lucky when he happened to bump into a young woman, Adeline Black, who totally intrigued him and seemed to occupying the suite next to his.  Unfortunately, she was simply a seamstress who was calling on the real heiress.  However the heart knows its own mind and after Adeline is found out to be what she purported to be Brandon did start shopping the New York heiresses, only to discover none measured up to Adeline.  

Expect the unexpected but told in a delightful and fun way as both find that true love leads to unexpected and surprising results.   A wonderful full bodied and delightful story.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Lies we Told by Camilla Way

Lies we Told

Published October 9th 2018 by Berkley

Rating: 5*

Looking for a dark psychological read with twisted characters, then you should definitely pick this one up!   It was a bit difficult to wrap my head around the swapping around of families who seemed to have nothing to do with one another but wow, the connection was pretty amazing.

Clara has been in 7th heaven that she had seemed to catch the best looking guy at work – and they were even living together!  But then Luke, didn’t come home one night and seemed to disappear, most folks assumed he dumped her.   But Clara knew more than anyone else – Luke had a stalker! 

There were complications in Luke’s family – Luke’s older sister, Emily who had vanished twenty years earlier, suddenly contacts Clara but doesn’t want Clara to tell anyone of her existence, or she’ll disappear again.     Emily wants to help Clara find Luke, but won’t tell Clara why she disappeared 20 years earlier, leaving Clara to wonder what Emily’s end game seems to be.   

There are a lot of questions you’ll be thinking of when you read this.  The biggest one is what really happened 20 years ago and why is no one discussing what happened, including Luke’s brother Tom who seems very angry with everyone.

Marilyn Rondeau 

Review: House of Gold by Natasha Solomons

House of Gold

Published May 3rd 2018 by Cornerstone Digital

I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting with this book but suffice it to say, I really enjoyed it!   At first I was in concert with Greta’s dilemma of having no say in who she married as it was decreed by her family – but like a good daughter Greta went thru with the marriage even though the groom didn’t put in an appearance.   However, when he did arrive while Greta was kind of bashing  the ‘poor husband’ he attempted to inject a bit of levity into the situation.  I did get a chuckle out of that!

Greta’s family branch was from Austria, and Albert (her husband) was from the even wealthier Goldbaum family of London.  Having understood right from the beginning how wealthy the Goldbaum dynasty was it was a real eye opener to see just how the wealthy and mighty lived as opposed to the folks who lived in the sewers and fed on their scraps.   

Greta and Albert’s marriage had started out with two individuals who tolerated one another and after a few years, they even became friends.  Finally as Greta finally seemed to find happiness the political upheavals started to make themselves known and all the wealth of the Goldbaums had no way of altering history as the Great War began.     The Goldbaums found their dynasty about to crack as they found themselves on separate sides.

An excellent read and historically interesting – giving this reader pause to digest the madness of power and persecution.  

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Cut and Run by Mary Burton

Cut and Run

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 321 pages    Published October 9th 2018 

Montlake Romance                Rating:  5*

Never fear if you are looking for a great “who done it” with unspeakable and brutal crimes by psychopaths – Mary Burton is sure to fulfill all those needs.  Not only that but you’ll have terrific characters who are fleshed out admirably and in some instances with their motivation built right into the dynamics of the story.  However, you probably will not figure out the bad guy until very close to the end.  

What sets this one apart is the mystery of the twin sisters who were separated at birth.  As a medical examiner Faith is  reunited only to realize that her identical twin sister might never live to know who she is.  Faith McIntyre knew she had been adopted but her sister, FBI Agent Macy Crow, the victim of a hit and run, might not live to be introduced.  Macy had stumbled into a discovery that put her into the cross hairs of someone who wasn’t ready for the world to know of their crimes.

Fabulous twist ending! 

Marilyn Rondeau

Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti

HIDDEN

Published- 9/25/18.                                             Rating:  5*

Series:  (Deep Ops #1)

Wow, I am so happy that I got a review copy on the first book of this series, because if the first book is any indication of the rest of what one can expect – this will prove to be a big hit.  The two lead characters are introduced right from the beginning where Pippa seems a bit of a recluse; and Malcolm West is suffering PTSD after being undercover for the last two years and barely escaping with his life after being stabbed and shot.  

What Malcolm didn’t realize was this quaint little house his realtor found him in an out of the way spot was next door to a fabulous looking young woman whom he sensed was in trouble.  Mal soon found out that the house and the neighbor were not random coincidences, that he’d been set up.   It seems that the ‘recluse’ was on a most wanted list from both the government and a dangerous cult leader.

The suspense and mystery of what Pippa knows, or knew and how Mal works her wanting not believe she is innocent and trying to prove it make for a thrill of a ride.  But that’s not all – wait until you meet the rest of the Deep Ops Team, including Roscoe the German Shepherd, Nari the shrink, Brigid the IT super sleuth; and a myriad of other colorful agents on this Deep Ops Team!   They are all a hoot – but a ‘deadly’ one!   Awesome book – loved every minute! 

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: THE LADY IS DARING by Megan Frampton

LadyIsDaring

Edeilweiss – Sep 25, 2018                          The Lady is Daring    (Duke’s Daughters #3)

Book Publisher   ebook, 352 pages       Publication: September 25th 2018 by Avon

ISBN; 9780062666666                              Rating:  5*

It was easy for society to overlook Lady Ida Howlett; they found her bookish, opinionated, and off the marriage mart. But little did they know that behind a calm exterior beats the heart of an adventuress, one who, determined to discover her runaway sister’s whereabouts, steals a carriage and sets off on a daring mission. Then she discovers she’s not alone! Bennett, Lord Carson, is inside, and he refuses to leave.  And so begins one of the cutest and most adorable Regency romances I’ve read in quite a while!  Loved Lady Ida!

Lord Carson was the dependable one, the one who sacrificed for the good of the family, the one that kept his mother in good spirits while his dad carried on with his mistress and spent as much money as he could!  Sensible, kind, sweet, but persona non grata to the rest of Lady Ida’s gan Frampton family as he didn’t marry either of her two older sisters!

Their great adventure proved to be a long journey and during that time they became quite good friends who started to appreciate the quirks that made each other different.  Lady Ida knew that Lord Carson would never be serious about her, as she was not soft, blonde, amiable, and no one was going to change her.   Carson on the other hand decided quite soon that even though she was opinionated and courageous, she was also intelligent and really quite a good conversationalist and companion.  

Lord Carson’s biggest issue was trying to then convince Ida she was exactly his type!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell

Carousel Provence

Kindle Edition, 368 pages             Publication: September 18th 2018 by Berkley

ASIN:   B0782SGJRD                  Rating: 4*

Didn’t know quite what to expect from this book I received from NET GALLEY for an honest review, but honestly, it was pretty darn good!  Generally I am not too keen when the story goes back and forth from present day to the long ago past, but I will admit that this was done seamlessly and at the right times to enhance what seemed to be going on in the present.   

Cady Drake, the lead character in this book was in her own words, ‘not a likable person’.  However, I did like her determination and grit.  She didn’t have a childhood that gave her any warm fuzzy feelings of belonging or being loved.  But a friend had arranged for Cady to take on a job of securing photos of the many carousels in France and Cady was ready for something new.  

When Cady met Fabrice, the reclusive hermit type who lived at the  Chateau Clement who didn’t like people – they formed a sort of detente.  He was a bit lame from a twisted foot, and Cady could help him out.    Plus she could then stay at the chateau to research the last known carousel built by the master carver Gustave Bayol a century ago which supposedly resided somewhere in the chateau.    

Now toss in a handsome nephew and a warring family over who truly owned the Chateau and the story just got better and better!    This was a totally enjoyable read and quite interesting with characters who will make you smile, laugh and even cry.   

Marilyn Rondeau