Every Bit a Rogue by Adrienne Basso

This is my first book by Adrienne Basso and I will definitely be searching out more from her. This is book 4 in the series but is fine as a standalone. Characters from books 1 and 2 are in the this story (the heroines from those stories are this heroine's sisters) but nothing that would confuse or make it unreadable. I'm unsure if perhaps you get a better perspective of Jon or Emma's personalities in the first books. Both these main characters have had their hearts broken in the past. Jon is rumored to be a crazy recluse after being left at the altar, but really he is just finding passion in his inventions away from society. Emma found solace in her painting, but when her muse leaves her, she becomes lonely and depressed. They come together by chance on a few occasions and then are thrown together again when Jon is accused of a crime. The thing I really enjoyed about this book was nothing really went as I expected. I read a lot, and tend to predict the direction the book will turn and it's always nice to be surprised. Not that there's a shocking revelation in this story, I just didn't find it predictable. It's a story about finding love when you think you can't, or it's just not meant for you. I enjoyed both characters, although I did get a little frustrated with Emma towards the end of the book, and wasn't 100% on board with some of her feelings she mentioned at the end. Jon, to me, became more enjoyable as the book went on. I thought it was fairly steamy, with 4-5 scenes. They weren't excessive. I was happy with that aspect of it. I give 4 stars. It was a pleasant read for me, but didn't quite reach the point of strong feelings for it :

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The Viper by Monica McCarty

Safety warning attached at end. This is book 4 in the highland guard. I think this book would be okay as a standalone, but I do recommend reading at least The Chief (book 1) because it sets up the whole highland guard, the members, and their purpose. Then I also recommend you read book 2, The Hawk, because it's still my favorite, it's soooooo good, and I believe the heroes are cousins from that book and this book. And then read book 3 because it's good too lol. Yeah just read in order. I really enjoyed this book. I think it's my second favorite of the series so far. I still think the Hawk beats it out but just by a tad. I love McCarty. I love her mix of action, history, tension, and melting kiss and sex scenes. This story spans 3 years or so, but doesn't feel like it has a long division of the characters. I think you would like this story if you like -big, lethal, green eyed highlanders -second chance romance (both hero and heroine have bad marriages in their past) -lots of action and sexual tension -aren't opposed to reading about torture and death. It's here, and makes the story feel so real -'older' characters – Bella is around 30 and Lachlan is mid 30's -Basically if you've read McCarty, you kind of know what you are going to get. I love her as an author. Lachlan is a bad boy mercenary. He has a reputation that he would sell his mother if he could make coin and happily turn his back on her suffering. It's all a mirage people, and I just adored Lachlan and felt his pain and reasoning for the life he has chosen. Bella has been suffering in a horrible marriage with her daughter Joan being her only bright spot. She knows where she stands in this war between England and Scotland and does what she feels is right, crowning Robert the Bruce, thus making herself a traitor to the crown. I also recommend you read up the real history on Isabella MacDuff. It's just fascinating. I don't usually love characters that have a past marriage, but I really enjoyed this story. I remember reading The Chief and loving it so much and I heard it was the best in the series. Then I read The Hawk and I loved it even more. They are all so good. I have been spacing them out and I think I'm going to keep doing that. Because I'm picky. And I go through streaks where I don't like anything. But I know I can come back to McCarty. And I'm going to be so sad when I get through all her books haha. I give 5 stars. Safety warning (possible spoilers) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . death, murder, torture, verbal/mental abuse (implied)

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The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries

This is the second book in the Duke Dynasty series. A Duchess was married 3 times and had 5 children, so 3 of her sons are inheriting a dukedom. I love this concept so much!!! But, I wasn't a fan of the first book. Neither character really pulled me, probably just a personality disconnect or something. Still, I love Sabrina Jeffries and will always give her a try. I enjoyed this book a little more, but it still fell flat for me :( This book is about Gwyn, (before mentioned Duchess's daughter), and Joshua. Joshua is the brother of Beatrice, who is the heroine of book 1. This book can be read as a standalone, but I think it would be better if you read the first book for a few reasons. First of all, there seems to be a series long mystery going on, possibly with the mother's past? We didn't find out in the first book, and are also left hanging in this book without much information. Secondly, the first book does a good job of explaining all the family dynamics and establishing character personalities, many of whom are this book as well. I think you would enjoy this story if you like -a war hero, soldier, wounded hero (he does suffer from PTSD) -plenty of plot/mystery/action going on -plenty of secrets held by characters -an 'older' heroine, she is 30 people, break out the cane -bodyguard trope This book had a few things going on that usually aren't my favorite which is probably why it wasn't a high star rating for me. I think plenty of others will love it. I don't love when the heroine has a past, and much of the book covers this, what has happened in the past and how it's affecting the current situation. I don't really love the war/spy theme woven in the book, it's just not my thing. This book didn't have much tension to me, kisses and sexual encounters kept happening but I didn't feel the build up or the wanting necessarily. It just felt more mechanical to me. I guess I just couldn't see why or how they were falling in love. The dialogue didn't make me feel their pasts. Oh yes, they have pasts and baggage but it was more like it was just stated, I saw it, I didn't feel it. They didn't worm their way into my hearts like some characters do. It wasn't an unpleasant read for me, but it didn't have anything standing out that brought it above pleasant for me. It was okay. I am loving the covers for this series though. I adore this cover and it portrays a scene from the story which I love even more. I give 3 stars. Safety warning (possible spoilers) . . . . . . . . . Miscarriage, murder (self defense), PTSD

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The Lady is Trouble by Tracy Sumner

Piper has been beyond bored languishing away in a secluded house all for the sake of her protection. Julian will do anything to keep her safe, especially from him, which means distance is paramount. Julian is attempting to assemble the league in a secure place and has his work cut out for him. Piper doesn't really know what he's been up to, and causes quite a scene to get his attention. Thus begins their adventure. Keeping Piper safe proves to be way more difficult when someone with similar powers is hunting her. This was my first Tracy Sumner book. This is the first book in the series, no prequel novella or anything. But my biggest complaint about this book was that it doesn't feel like that at all. You walk into the middle of a crazy story with a lot of paranormal-ish stuff going on (reading minds, seeing auras, telekinesis) with hardly any explanation. I'm not sure if she has other books that are in a similar world or if this is just how this one starts. I would definitely try this author again, as there was a lot I liked, but perhaps another series. If you are looking for a paranormal and historical combo, I highly suggest you try this. Its definitely unique, it's sexy, action packed, I just felt quite a bit lost for much of the beginning of the book it was hard to really fall in love with the story. I was frustrated that there was so much history going on, past relationships, experiences, everyone's powers and I didn't know how any of it was happening. I feel like this book definitely needs a prequel or a nice prologue to set everything up.

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Delicious by Sherry Thomas

Verity Durant is a cook of legendary prowess. She's also known for her scandalous love life. Upon the death of her employer, Stuart Somerset comes to oversee Fairleigh Park. I think you should give this book a try if you like -Cinderella-ish stories -Experienced heroines -Saga-like stories – this one spans 10 years! -Stories that jump between time (think Day of the Duchess by Sarah Maclean) to tell the history of the characters and what's going on in the present. I loved the descriptions of food in this book. LOVED IT. I love to cook and eat, and find myself always interested in the food from the time period. The details, oh my mouth was watering. I wanted to sit at a table where Verity cooked. But this book....was not my favorite. For a number of reasons. Personal things I prefer that usually make my enjoyment less were in play here. Personally, I don't like time jumps and this book goes back and forth between 10 years to give the couple's history. I don't like deceit and I felt it in this book. I prefer my heroines to be virgins, and especially disliked how close her former and current lovers were. There were other perspectives than the main characters. There was a side love story, although I do think in this case it actually wrapped in well together. I think that's all I can say without spoilers. I will say the ending was wonderful. I'm not sure how that happened, as usually the book does NOT get better for me once I've reached this point, but I really did enjoy the ending. I encourage you to try it, I know I am quite picky. It has by no means put me off Sherry Thomas. I loved the first one I tried, The Luckiest Lady in London, so much I think I will read all of her work. I give 2.5 rounded to 3 Serious spoilers ahead!!!!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I HATED that it took them some absurd amount of time to even talk to each other in 'present time'. Yes you get flashbacks but really 200 pages before they even talk? That super annoyed me. I hated her deceit. The fact that Verity knew exactly who he was when he she went to him after her fall out with his brother (HIS BROTHER! UGH!) and didn't say boo, then continued to hide herself and not say boo...the fact that it was 300 pages before he even knew she was the same person as 10 years ago...I didn't like the time jumping. I couldn't get into the present time, I couldn't get into the past. I kept waiting for something to happen in the present and the past wasn't pulling my emotions. I didn't like Verity. She was a survivor but I felt like she also used people and I just felt awful for Stuart. I felt like Stuart deserved better than what he got. I hated that Stuart was engaged and he cheated on her (not technically with intercourse but if you've read the book, come on, none of us would be okay with that happening). At least it was addressed and it was all 'okay' in the end. I didn't like the perspective switches to his betrothed, but that's just a personal thing for me. I prefer one couple in a story.

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The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas

This was my first Sherry Thomas! I have heard so many people recommending her and loving her books. Well, I'm sold. Totally sold. I adored this book. I stayed up alllll night reading it. I loved it. I didn't care how tired I was going to be. I had to finish it. Felix, our hero, has some issues. You see them forming in the prologue and your heart just breaks for him. You worry what he is becoming and his defense mechanisms he begins to employ to protect himself from hurt. Despite his rather sad past, he makes himself into The Ideal Gentleman. As a marquess, his manners, grace, and gentlemanly behaviors are above reproach. No one sees what is beneath this veneer he has created. Louisa, our heroine, has a very certain goal – marry and marry well to support her family. She has many sisters, one who needs extra care, and she knows she must marry well to have the finances and stability to save everyone. She has created the perfect persona to thrive in London. She is friendly but not too forward. She is engaging without being desperate. She first is in awe of The Ideal Gentleman but quickly is wary and pushes him away when she feels his judgment. God I just loved this entire book. I smiled so much in the beginning when they were dancing around each other and getting to know each other. Thomas has amazing chemistry and tension between the characters without a single touch. I was so in love with both of them, my heart fully engaged, gripping my book just waiting for something to happen. I LOVED this hero. I loved him falling in love. It was like he couldn't really see it or admit but I could see it, feel it and just revel in every moment. Then, he breaks my damn heart. Stomps on it. It's like he's realizing he's in too deep and tries to back track but it's too late. This book played on every one of my emotions. I FREAKING LOVE A BOOK THAT DOES THAT!!! But, oh, the groveling. He's an arrogant lord so he struggles, but it happens in the sweetest ways. The sex was not what I was expecting. The scenes are not closed door, but are not very long or detailed or explicit. I know this will suite a lot of people. But oh, how much I wanted every look, every touch, the entire thing laid out for me. I was a little sad after the first scene, because well I'm greedy for explicit sex. Yet, the scenes still had the emotional aspect to it. While it's not ideal for me, I still loved it. I will say I thought Louisa's reaction towards the end of the book was more extreme than I would have done. I would have reacted worse to the source of the initial conflict in the book. It would have taken me a lot longer to forgive that instead. I found something just a bit unique and different about the writing in this book. Definitely going back for more Sherry Thomas. Spoilers ahead! Some random but specific thoughts about the book: . . . . . . . . . . . . . I loved their dialogue in the beginning half of the book. The flirting with the walking stick was amazing. The innuendos had me laughing. I adored the mannequins in the folly. Hilarious and then when Felix attempts to be a jerk to push Louisa away my heart was just so broken. I knew she would never cheat on him when she meets him at the folly at night. And I wanted to high five her for her line saying, “And I told him not to come near the folly due to the wasps” (paraphrased from rough memory haha) I wondering if he would be able to make me forgive him by the end of the book. The tulips at first weren't enough, but oh how my heart totally melted when I saw it placed on a mannequin in the folly. His actions became just so sweet and respectful of her and I loved that.

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For the Sake of a Scottish Rake by Anna Bradley

This is book 3 of the most recent Anna Bradley series. I haven't read the first one yet (Wayward Bride), but have read the second and loved it! This can be read easily as a standalone. Previous characters are briefly mentioned or make small appearances, but nothing that would affect the story. Lucinda is with her extended family on a short vacation before the London season when she meets Ciaran. What follows is a sweet and lovely friendship that forms between the two. Ciaran is supposed to be on his way to Scotland to tie up some unfinished emotional business, but he must make sure Lucinda is fairing well during her first season. When he arrives, he finds all is not well, and helps her hatch a plan. I think you should try this story if -You have tried Anna Bradley and disliked her stories in the past – really! I know people dislike many of her heroes, but Ciaran is totally different. This story was also less angst than her usual work. -You like a beta hero! -You like friends to lovers -You like a rescue plot, where not only the does the hero rescue the heroine, but she rescues herself as well -You like the fake relationship trope I overall liked Lucinda. She has a sweet, curious, adventurous personality. She wants to see and experience what she can of the world. But she is also aware of the social constrictions of her time and that's something I love about Bradley's books and heroines. They are independent while still knowing they can't just do whatever they want without repercussions. She does make some decisions that irritated me a bit, more so towards the end of the book. Ciaran I found to be unlike any of Bradley's other heroes. He's such a beta hero. He's oh so sweet. Caring. Responsible for Lucinda once he creates this relationship with her. I really enjoyed him as well. I adore Bradley's kisses and sex scenes. This was on the lower steam end, tension building slowly throughout the story. A kiss and 1-2 scenes take place after the 60% mark I believe. I love them because they are filled with descriptions and longing and feelings and so detailed. They make me melt. I think a part of me didn't love this story quite as much as I could have because I just read Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch and the plot was so similar. They are far from the same book, but just very similar feelings with the two characters becoming friends first, the personalities of the heroes, and the fact that the heroines had villain suitors. I give 4 stars.

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The Forgotten Duke by Sophie Barnes

Regina is a dutiful daughter. She has known forever that she will marry for the convenience of her parents. She is disappointed in their choice however, and finds the nerve to run away the morning of her wedding. The Scoundrel of St. Giles is well known for his dastardly deeds, even by sweet and innocent Regina. Yet, he provides her safety, food, comfort and isn't at all the villain she thought he was. But Regina doesn't know Carlton's past and why he is so determined to keep her with him. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, but it was fine as a stand alone. But I have read that Carlton is found in other stories in the series, and the series seems to be well loved, so perhaps start at the beginning for the full effect. This book has such high reviews from all of my goodread friends. I think I just had bad luck with this book. There was something about it that did not pull it together for me. I have so many questions and complaints and am just left asking, “Why?”. Why was this happening? Why was that happening? WHY are they falling in love? I don't know. But it happened. And it's not a bad book at all, it was just missing something for me. And there was a lot of action and chaos going on, which is not something I love. But you might! So, everyone else give it a try. There were a lot of really cute scenes in this book, and the hero's love is powerful for the heroine. I think truly one of my favorite parts was when he found out she'd never had cake and makes sure to get her one to try. Below is a slight spoiler (it happens in the very beginning of the story) that I'm annoyed about * * * * * * * * * * * * * Firstly, I'd like to address the reason she had to run away from her wedding. Her betrothed was a 14 year old boy with some degenerative disease that affected his muscles. Okay, I get it, she's 18 and she doesn't want to marry a child. But he was SO NICE. And I felt SO BAD for him. I was actually hoping this was the hero and they had some kind of separation and then came back together when he was older. But she was so devastated thinking he couldn't ride horses with her or play hide and seek with their imaginary kids. I just thought it was ridiculously shallow and stupid reasons. I'm not mad at her for running away but I wish it was done a bit different. I want Stokes to have his own story. He deserves love oh so much.

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Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch

This is the second book of Enoch's newest series, Wild Wicked Highlanders. I haven't read the first, and this was fine as a standalone. I can tell you will have a better feel for all the characters be reading in order, though. The siblings were in this book, and I'm assuming at least Aden was in the prior book. The first book of the series is It's Getting Scot in Here). This book provided a bit more insight into how Coll's personality was and I'm assuming the next book will be about him (or at least that he will have a book at some point. I'm very excited for his story. He's a huge, brawny highlander and I'm half in love with him already.) Miranda is the perfect society lady. She has polish. She knows society rules. She has a wonderfully pleasant and engaging personality. Except when it comes to the burly Aden MacTaggert, whom she snubs upon meeting. I really enjoyed Miranda. She was one of those heroines that I just truly liked. I want to be her friend. She's not helpless, she's smart, but she's limited by her position and strength. And Aden fills in those gaps so wonderfully. She's not someone who is meek or has no backbone. I thought the ways she needed Aden were so touching and more real feeling for the time. Don't get me wrong, I love an independent heroine and one that can save herself and others, but this just felt different. Maybe I was in the mood for a big, hairy highlander to come in and save the day. Miranda pulls her weight for sure and they work together. She's not just a damsel in distress. Aden has been drug to London to find a bride. His family history was probably explained better in the first book. You know his mom left his father 17 years ago and now has an agreement to get all the brothers leg shackled before their sister. Niall has already found his love. Aden is open to the idea of marriage, but doesn't seem to meet anyone that inspires any strong feelings. I thought this book would be an enemies to lovers because of their brief animosity the first, but it turned into a lovely getting to know you, becoming friends, and falling in love. Miranda has a serious problem she must solve and she enlists Aden to help her. They become partners against a villain. This villain felt a bit different than the usual villain. The drive behind what he wanted was different. And boy did he inspire strong feelings of dislike in me. You were rooting for his disappearance. He is in the book a decent amount, but I found it didn't take away from Aden and Miranda's relationship. It bonded them stronger together, in fact, because you couldn't help compare the two and it made your heart melt all the more with Aden's actions. Heart melting is how I felt about this book. There were so many just adorable, cute, funny, sweet moments in this book. I'm pretty sure as I finished, I oozed into a pile with hearts floating above me. Aden is more of a beta hero, and betas are usually not my thing. But I loved Aden. He's just so sweet and caring and he just falls in love with Miranda so sweetly. He doesn't have some deep, dark, and lame secret why he can't marry. He hasn't sworn off women/marriage. He has these real feelings that are new to him, and he embraces. I'm getting goosebumps thinking about his love for Miranda. I loved how he loved her and I loved how he spoke about his feelings first. This book is my favorite Suzanne Enoch. This is my 6th novel by her. I plan on getting my hands on the first in this series soon and I will definitely be checking out Coll's story when it comes out!

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Never Kiss a Duke by Megan Frampton

This is my first Megan Frampton! I have been meaning to try her forever, her story lines always sound enticing and I think her covers are beautiful. This is the first book of her new series, Hazards of Dukes. I thought this story was so unique in that the hero is no longer a duke. He's been raised to be a duke, was told he was the duke, acted like the duke...until he discovers he is a nobody due to a violated law by his mother. He is plain Mr. de Silva. He's like a newborn entering the world of, well, everything. Having to buy things. Having to work. Having to make a bed. Having to figure out how to have a purpose in this life other than what he always thought he had. The heroine, Miss Ivy, has also lost her social status. Ruined but with a younger sister to care for, she has started her own gaming house to support themselves. Now, this is probably just me and the books I have read fairly recently, but it seems like every girl and their sister owns a gambling house now. I've finished 3 of Suzanne Enoch's series that take place with the Tantalus club, there's Sarah MacLean's Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, and I think some Tina Gabrielle have this too. It's a great plot device but it's not new to me, and honestly I got kind of bored with it. The book is a little slow moving in the beginning. It establishes what's happening to Sebastian's life and the daily workings of Ivy's gambling house. They come together soon into the book and find they work together quite well. I enjoyed this book overall. There's no crazy plot going taking me away from the characters. It's about them growing and being together and coming to terms with their places in life. It's rather funny in some parts. Very sexy, but it's pretty much all in the second half. I did think the feels/tension were just not connecting the best with me, which is why I give 4 stars. It wasn't a book I couldn't tear myself away from. I will definitely be trying more of her work though. Frampton does use the F word in this novel a handful of times. I think it's 5-6. Nothing overly vulgar but I know some people really dislike that, so I thought I'd point it out. (I love it! Especially in historical) Very slight spoiler about something towards the end...avoid reading further if you don't want to know! . . . . . . . . . . . . Lastly, there is a 2 month separation of Ivy and Sebastian at the end and I don't like it or understand it at all. It's not long page wise, so it was easier for me to get over, but that always drives me nuts. I wouldn't have lasted 2 months. I would have beaned him over the head if he waited that long without talking to me.

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