Sadie’s Highlander by Maeve Greyson

Sadie's Highlander: A Highland Protector Novel (Highland Protectors)

Title: Sadie’s Highlander

Author: Maeve Greyson

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of Publication: September 12th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

Series: Highland Protector

Sadie’s Highlander – Book 1

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Sadie’s Highlander: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The Highland Protector series brings to life four mouth-watering Celtic brothers in twenty-first-century North Carolina—where the lasses are anything but tamed.
 
Highland warrior Alec MacDara and his brothers traveled forward in time to protect the sacred Heartsone. Their cover? Owners and operators of a theme park called Highland Life and Legends. As the chairman, Alec has been fending off requests to film at the breathtaking property. It’s only because of the charming correspondence from an enterprising production assistant that he agrees to a meeting at all. That’s when Alec meets a woman whose lush curves make him forget, for the first time, all about tenth-century Scotland.
 
A lowly assistant for her sister’s motion picture company, wannabe screenwriter Sadie Williams is shocked when Alec agrees to let them film at the park upon one condition: that she report to him daily. Sadie’s sister always told her that their parents only adopted her because they felt sorry for the ugly little stray. But Alec looks at Sadie like she’s the most tempting creature in the world. And with his gleaming, musclebound body stripped down to nothing but a hip-hugging kilt and boots, Alec clearly knows a little something about temptation.

My review:

Let’s take a minute to drool over the cover of this book. It totally fits with the book. My mental image of Alec is definitely personified by the male model (the braid in his hair is a plus). The female model used for Sadie is dead on with my mental image of her. The cover shows the love Alec has for Sadie and vice versa. Kudos to whoever designed it because they obviously read the book and got a cover that matches the book. Not very often that it happens

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A Love to Remember (The Disgraced Lords: Book 7) by Bronwen Evans

A Love to Remember (The Disgraced Lords, #7)

Title: A Love to Remember

Author: Bronwen Evans

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: August 29th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Disgraced Lords

A Kiss of Lies – Book 1

A Promise of More – Book 2

A Touch of Passion – Book 3

A Whisper of Desire – Book 4

A Taste of Seduction – Book 5

A Night of Forever – Book 6 (review here)

A Love to Remember – Book 7

A Dream of Redemption – Book 8

Where you can find A Love to Remember: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A fiercely independent duchess and a brooding, reclusive Earl are tested by the demands of desire in this unforgettable romance from the USA Today bestselling author of A Kiss of Lies and A Night of Forever.

For Rose Deverill, one husband was enough. As the wealthy widow of the Duke of Roxborough, she has cultivated an unsavory reputation meant to discourage wife hunters. Thanks to a string of steamy affairs, Rose is perfectly content to be known by polite society as the “Wicked Widow”—until she’s reunited with the man she fell in love with at age fifteen. Their bedroom encounters are scorching, but it breaks Rose’s heart to wonder whether her reckless behavior ruined her for Philip Flagstaff.

The second son of the Earl of Cumberland, Philip never wanted the title. But after Philip’s older brother, Robert, follows him into the Battle of Waterloo, his worst fears come to pass. Now Robert lies in a soldier’s grave, and Philip is determined never to pass on the inheritance to children of his own. Then Rose appears, soothing the pain with her delightful curves and passionate kisses. The notorious Duchess seems to want nothing from him—and yet Philip has never ached to give a woman more.

Trigger Warning: None

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My Fair Lover (Legendary Lovers: Book 5) by Nicole Jordan

My Fair Lover (Legendary Lovers, #5)

Title: My Fair Lover

Author: Nicole Jordan

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Date of publication: August 29th, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Number of pages: 368

POV: 3rd person

Series: Legendary Lovers

Princess Charming – Book 1

Lover Be Mine – Book 2

Secrets of Seduction – Book 3

The Art of Taming a Rake – Book 4

My Fair Lover – Book 5

Where you can find My Fair Lover: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Lady Katherine Wilde believes she has crushed any lingering romantic feelings toward Brandon Deverill, who spurned her six years ago. And now that the rough-edged rogue needs polishing to claim his inheritance, she’s willing to strike a practical bargain: Kate will mold the brash privateer into an acceptable English nobleman if Deverill will safeguard her from brigands on a voyage to recover lost family treasure. However, the soul-melting kiss that seals their agreement just may reignite blazing passion. 

Brandon’s fortitude was sorely tested when he turned Kate away from his bed all those years ago. Even a rake such as he wouldn’t seduce an innocent beauty before sailing into battle. But now that he’s inherited a title and must take a suitable bride, he sets his sights on Kate. Though he fiercely desires her, true love is a notion that baffles him–until their adventure turns perilous and Brandon realizes he’d gladly trade his life to save the woman who has captured his heart.

Trigger Warnings: None

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Traitor in Her Arms (The Scarlet Chronicles: Book 1) by Shana Galen

Traitor in Her Arms (The Scarlet Chronicles, #1)

Title: Traitor in Her Arms

Author: Shana Galen

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: August 22nd, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Scarlet Chronicles

Traitor in Her Arms – Book 1

Where you can find Traitor in Her Arms: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Two morally compromised souls wage a battle of wits—and seduction—against the backdrop of the French Revolution in this thrilling romance from bestselling author Shana Galen.

After her late husband leaves her in debt to some dangerous people, Lady Gabrielle McCullough is forced to become a thief. In the intervening years, her skills have not gone unnoticed. After being recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious do-gooder spiriting aristocrats out of revolutionary France, Gabrielle crosses the Channel for the most daring mission of her life. Accompanying her is the Earl of Sedgwick, a thief in his own right and an enticingly masculine presence. The man is not to be trusted—nor is Gabrielle’s body when he’s near.

Ramsey Barnes would not say he is an honorable man. His whole life has been based on a lie; why change now? Although it pains him to deceive the tantalizing Gabrielle, he’s working toward an altogether different objective: unmasking the Scarlet Pimpernel. If Ramsey fails, his blackmailer will ruin him. But when Ramsey’s confronted with the carnage of the Reign of Terror, he seeks refuge in Gabrielle’s heated embrace. Now he faces a terrible choice: betray the woman who’s stolen his heart—or risk losing everything.

My review:

Traitor in Her Arms is one of those books that is going to stay with you for a long while after reading it. Set during the French Revolution, I was sent on a hair-raising and harrowing adventure through England and France. I was literally on the edge of my seat for more than half the book and I think during the more harrowing parts of the book, I couldn’t take a breath, that is how much this book got to me. And believe me, for me to get so emotionally invested in a book is a good thing.

I had mentioned in another review that the French Revolution, while used as a backdrop in historical romance novels, really isn’t a place that authors visit in their novels. It was too violent and not at all romantic. But, I like what the author did to make Paris a perfect spot for Ramsey and Gabrielle’s romance. She made them go to France for two different reasons. Gabrielle, an accomplished thief, was to steal a bracelet and then secure the freedom of a Comtesse and her child. Ramsey, well he was to find out who was the Scarlet Pimpernel and tell his blackmailer his identity.

I couldn’t understand why Gabrielle was such an accomplished thief until it was explained a few chapters into the book. I couldn’t imagine my husband dying and leaving me to deal with his creditors. She was desperate and the unsavory people who her husband was dealing with were becoming more and more impatient. So she learned to pick locks and used those skills to steal jewels and whatnot from the fellow members of the ton.  When she was approached by the Scarlet Pimpernel and told that she was going to France to save the Comtesse and her child, she didn’t hesitate…even though France was in a state of civil unrest.

Ramsey was an enigma to me, at first and I couldn’t understand why he was stealing Cleopatra’s jewels. But the more into Ramsey’s story I got into, the more something didn’t add up. I really didn’t understand why Madam seemed to have him by the balls and kept threatening to show his secret. But the more into the book I got, the more the author gradually peeled back Ramsey’s layers. When his secret was finally revealed and the reasons behind it, I actually felt bad for him. What a burden to be carrying around!!

The book really picked up once Ramsey and Gabrielle were undercover in France. I will give you all a warning and say that this part of the book is not for those who do not like violence. Because there were some pretty violent and descriptive scenes. I was literally chilled when Ramsey and Gabrielle saw the aristocrat who was literally dismembered before their eyes. Also, what chilled me was when they went to witness the people being guileteened. I couldn’t get the descriptions of the square soaked in blood, the people being executed or the people watching out of my mind. I knew that was a bloody period in France’s history but I guess I didn’t know how bloody until I read this book.

The end of the book was pretty anticlimactic after reading Ramsey and Gabrielle’s times in France. But it did end as a happy ending for both Ramsey and Gabrielle.

How many stars will I give Traitor in Her Arms: 5

Why: I loved this book. It was a beautifully written book that had plotlines that definitely kept my attention and a romance that defied Revolutionary France.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and violence. Like I said above, when Gabrielle and Ramsey were in France, it was very bloody and some people could be put off by it.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Addicted to the Duke (Imperfect Lords: Book 1) by Bronwen Evans

Addicted to the Duke (Imperfect Lords, #1)

Title: Addicted to the Duke

Author: Bronwen Evans

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 13th, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Number of pages: 260

POV: 3rd person

Series: Imperfect Lords

Addicted to the Duke – Book 1

Where you can find Addicted to the Duke: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A lovestruck lady charms the duke of her dreams during an expedition on the high seas in this sexy, swashbuckling novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

Alexander Sylvester Bracken, Duke of Bedford, has a mission: sail to the Mediterranean and track down Lady Hestia Cary’s missing father. It is a straightforward task, but for two rather vexing complications. First, the sea holds painful memories; second, for her own safety, Hestia is to accompany him. As Alex battles the demons of his past, he must also resist Hestia’s surprisingly skillful attempts at seduction. After all, Alex has sworn to leave her untouched, and he intends to honor that vow—until he can properly ask the Earl’s blessing.

Ever since His Grace rescued Hestia from the arms of a Turkish pirate six long years ago, her heart has belonged to Alex. So when he agrees to help find her father, Hestia is thrilled. Although Alex tries to hide it, there’s passion in his eyes—and a frisson of desire in the air—whenever they meet. On board ship, miles from home, Alex won’t be able to deny her any longer. But with scoundrels lying in wait, she may not live to tell the tale of her conquest.

My review:

Do not judge Addicted to the Duke by its cover. Why you ask? Well because the cover doesn’t do this book any justice. While it is nice to look at, and who doesn’t like a bare-chested man who is in the process of ripping his shirt off, I do think that the cover should have included Hestia. Normally, I am like “No women on the cover” but Hestia earned a spot in my heart because of everything that she went through and how she loved Alex unconditionally. Actually, thinking about it, maybe Hestia should have been featured instead of Alex. Just saying…

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An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities: Book 2) by K.J. Charles

An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2)

Title: An Unnatural Vice

Author: K.J. Charles

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 6th, 2017

Genre: LGBTQIA, Historical Romance

Number of pages: 250

POV: 3rd person

Series: Sins of the Cities

An Unseen Attraction – Book 1 (review here)

An Unnatural Vice – Book 2

An Unsuitable Heir – Book 3 (publication date–October 3rd, 2017)

Where you can find An Unnatural Vice: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.

Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

My review:

An Unnatural Vice in the second book in the Sins Of The Cities series. I had previously read and reviewed An Unseen Attraction and really enjoyed that book. So when I saw that book 2 was available on NetGalley, I had to request it. I am glad I did because this book was fantastic.

I am going to come right out and say that this book is not a stand-alone. You need to read An Unseen Attraction to follow the events in An Unnatural Vice. The events in An Unnatural Vice closely intermingle with the events in An Unseen Attraction. Actually, the storyline in An Unnatural Vice is the same time as the events in An Unseen Attraction. Several scenes from An Unnatural Vice were rewritten to be from Nate and Justin’s point of view. I know it sounds confusing, reading what I wrote, but it actually worked. I got to see what was happening to Clem and Rowley from another point of view….along with Nate and Justin’s main storyline. It was different and again, like I said above, it worked.

I enjoyed reading about mediums in that time period and the length’s that they went through to convince their clients that they were actually talking to spirits. From the setup to picking their apprentices to the real senace, it just fascinated me. Justin was pretty good because he had me, a reader, convinced that there was something supernatural going on for a couple of chapters…lol.

Nate was still grieving for his lover, Tony. Tony died in a freak accident 7 years earlier and Nate was devastated, as any normal person would be after losing a loved one. So when he attends a senace to expose Justin Lazarus as a fraud, he wasn’t expecting to be attracted to him and it threw a wrench in his plans. While I felt bad for Nate, I absolutely loved seeing him come alive in this book. Not only was he hell-bent on exposing Justin as a fraud but he was working to help Clem with what I will call family issues (read the book because it is so much more). But both of those worlds collide, in a big way.

I did like Justin, even if he was a fraud. He was doing the only honest work that he knew how to do. So he is intrigued when Nate keeps coming around. I did have a giggle over how much of a foul mouth that Justin had, which again was a breath of fresh air. Also, he protected those he considered his….which meant that Sukey and Emma (a 12-year-old and a mentally challenged 15-year-old) were under his protection. It showed that under his façade of not caring, he was a very caring man. The scene where he was panicking over the girls being in the house was very telling because, at this point, the author chose to portray them as only servants/apprentices.

The romance between Justin and Nate was not a slow burn. I wouldn’t dare say that it was Instalove but it bordered on it. To be honest, it was pure lust. The first sex scene was mad sex. The men were arguing and one thing led to another. They were even arguing during sex, which did made me giggle. It was almost like they were having makeup sex while fighting. The other sex scenes were just as hot.

The storyline with Clem and the storyline with Justin did merge about halfway through the book. Like I said above, it was pretty interesting to read the events of An Unseen Attraction from another angle. It answered a lot of questions about certain events. I have a feeling that book 3 will do the same and honestly, I can’t wait to read it.

The end of the book was an HEA, for the most part. The book did wrap up, for the most part, Justin and Nate’s storyline but left Clem’s wide open. I can’t wait to see where it goes in book 3!!

How many stars will I give An Unnatural Vice: 4

Why: Great characters with a compelling storyline.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

A Counterfeit Heart (Secrets and Spies: Book 1) by K.C. Bateman

A Counterfeit Heart (Secrets & Spies, #3)

Title: A Counterfeit Heart

Author: K.C. Bateman

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: May 23rd, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Number of pages: 306

POV: 3rd person

Series: Secrets and Spies

To Steal a Heart – Book 1

A Raven’s Heart – Book 2 (review here)

A Counterfeit Heart – Book 3

Where you can find A Counterfeit Heart: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

As Sabine de la Tour tosses piles of forged banknotes onto a bonfire in a Paris park, she bids a reluctant farewell to her double life as a notorious criminal. Over the course of Napoleon’s reign, her counterfeits destabilized the continent and turned scoundrels into rich men, but now she and her business partner must escape France—or face the guillotine. Her only hope of surviving in England is to strike a deal with the very spy she’s spent her career outrunning. Now after meeting the arrogant operative in the flesh, Sabine longs to throw herself upon his mercy—and into his arms.

Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, is prepared to take any risk to safeguard England from the horrors of the French Revolution. To lure the insurgents out from the shadows, he’s even willing to make a pact with his archenemy: Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe. But when a cheeky, gamine-faced beauty proves herself to be Lacorte, Richard is shocked—and more than a little aroused. Unlike the debutantes who so often hurl themselves at him, this cunning minx offers a unique and irresistible challenge. Richard will help her. But in return, he wants something that even Sabine cannot fake.

My review:

I find the times around the French Revolution very fascinating.  I haven’t read a lot of books, romance and otherwise, that even touch upon it. If I do happen to read a book in that time frame, references are given but nothing is really talked about. So, when I read the blurb for A Counterfeit Heart, my attention and interest were immediately caught. I was also really happy to see that it was book 3 in the Secret and Spies series. Having read A Raven’s Heart, I was curious if Richard would get his story and who his love interest would be. I wasn’t disappointed.

The plotline of A Counterfeit Spy was surprisingly action packed. Mostly, when I read a historical romance, it follows a set plotline and this one deviates from that. Which made it very enjoyable for me to read. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a historical romance that is standard…meaning that the heroine is sweet but weak, the hero is strong and tortured and there is a dastardly villain that is easily defeated thrown in. With this book, though, those stereotypes are rewritten. The heroine is most definitely not weak and thinking about it, she really wasn’t sweet either…lol. The hero is strong but I wouldn’t say that he was tortured. He held guilt over several incidents in the past but, for the most part, they didn’t carry over into the present day. The villain was not easily defeated either. He was actually carried over from the 2nd book and I believe he started in the first one (didn’t read it).

Sabine, I liked. For that time, she was an anomaly, a woman who didn’t need a man to survive. She only went to Richard because she needed the money to escape to America and build a new life for herself. She was also very sassy and wasn’t afraid to put Richard in his place. She also was very secretive but she needed to be. She had some pretty powerful people who were after her alter ego, Philippe Lacorte. I thought it was pretty refreshing to read about a heroine who was a criminal and who was honest about it. I mean, she did approach Richard about working for him and had no shame about admitting about her criminal past.

I couldn’t get that into Richard in the beginning of the book. I think it was because he came across as so harsh in the beginning of the book when Sabine appeared on his doorstep. But he did grow on me as the book went on. I think the reason I didn’t really like him was that he was so intense, so focused on getting that group arrested but he wasn’t afraid to use Sabine to make that happen. But he did grow on me during the book. I could tell that he had growing feelings for Sabine and that his actions were being influenced by them.

The romance between Richard and Sabine was a slow burn. I mean, you know that it was going to happen but I love how the author chose to stretch it out. Feelings were conveyed with a look and a touch. Everything was built up so that when they finally kissed (and had sex), my pages just about combusted. And it didn’t stop with that one scene. Every scene after that was the same way and I was pretty impressed by that. It is very rare that an author can have sex scenes that are as good as the first one.

The end of the book kept me on my toes. So much went on in such a short amount of time that I did have a small issue following everything. There were a couple of plot twists. One I saw coming and one took me by surprise. But still, even with the twists, I was very happy with the ending.

How many stars will I give A Counterfeit Heart: 4

Why: A wonderfully written historical romance that had a great plotline and relatable characters.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Violence and sex

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**