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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My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

Review of My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Plot/Storyline: 📖 📖 📖 📖 Feels: 🦋🦋 Romance: 💞 💞 💞 💞 Emotional Depth: 💔 💔 💔 Sexual Tension: ⚡️ ⚡️ ⚡️ Sensuality: 🔥 🔥 🔥 Sex Scene Length: 🍆 🍆 🍆 If you’re looking for a fairly good book, My Fake Rake is one of them. While not excellent, it had a good storyline, a friends to lovers trope and likable characters. It commences with introducing the heroine, Grace, and her hobby of reptile research. It seems that she has an acquaintance, Mason, she admires enough that she wants to marry him, but he only sees her as a woman of science, not a woman. So, she devised a plan with her friend Sebastian (our hero) to make Mason jealous by making Sebastian into a rake. Sebastian is a poor, bookish man, dressed in shabby clothing and for a man who studies anthropology, he suffers from social anxiety. However, he has a major crush on Grace and agrees to let her Pygmalion him into a rake. He succeeds with help from her and his college buddies, and in the process, they fall in love. In this story, the shyness to share real feelings is the real issue. Both characters have problems sharing what they feel because they are trying so hard to not get in the way of the others’ happiness. The sensuality is great, at moments, and had wonderful potential to open to more. The scene where they sneak off to a village festival is fantastic, as is the following love scene, however the author could have done so much more with the steam. It moved rather quickly, a kiss and then encounters that are platonic and then the love scene. While the love scene was well-developed, more tension could have added to the story. I am intrigued enough to read the second book, so hopefully the author ramps up the steam. All in all, an enjoyable read when one wants a simple read.

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To Love a Scandalous Duke by Liana De la Rosa

Our hero, Declan, returns to England after twelve years away in the West Indies. He left following his father's suicide, when his family was embroiled in a financial scandal. Upon his return, he learns his brother is dead and he is now the Duke. Growing up neighbors, Alethea harbored a young tendre for Declan. Declan’s family had suggested a betrothal between them, but it was refused by her family, as he was a second son. This book revolves around rekindling their friendship and relationship, as well as a mystery plot surrounding Declan’s father and brothers deaths. I loved the romance in this story. So sweet to watch these two get to know each other as adults. The butterflies and all consuming feelings of wondering about them at all times. The fun, the giggles. The giddiness. The mystery drives much of the plot in this story but I enjoyed it. It’s all wrapped up nicely by the end of the book. I think I would have liked a prologue maybe showing a scene from their past because of their history together. I also would have loved an epilogue to see if they remained in England or traveled to the West Indies together. But maybe we get more from them in the following book? Either way, I can’t wait to read the next story. I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Dangerous by Minerva Spencer

Really enjoyed this debut novel! I found the whole premise fun and a bit different than the usual scenarios. Adam is called the murderous marquess due to the untimely deaths of his first two wives. He handles his emotions so well he seems...emotionless. Cold. Hard. However he has 3 daughters and would love an heir to carry on his line. Mia returns to England after 17 years missing. To her peers, her past a mystery, but her family knows she’s spent the time being captured and sold into a sultan's harem. Her father, The Duke of Carlisle, is eager to marry her and get her scandalous life out of his hands. The two are brought together during a ball hosted by Mia’s family. It begins a marriage of convenience that turns into much more. I loved the first half of this book. It was fun, sexy, funny, intriguing. I enjoyed both main characters and getting to know them. Mia I found especially fun. She’s just so caring and has this ability to put everyone around her at ease, I just felt like I’d love to be friends with her too haha! Adam was slower for me to like, but he shed his layers scene by scene and I totally fell for what was underneath. There’s plenty of sex in this book. Like way more than I usually find. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I wish a scene or two had been cut maybe to spend a bit more time in Adams head, or some further details on family scenes (like first meetings of Mia with her new stepdaughters). There were a few time periods that were skimmed over. Overall it worked for me though. The second half of the book gets a little crazy. There were a few scenes that irritated me (any book that makes me yell “just tell him/her!” Makes me grit my teeth. And just some craziness that was thrown in then fully resolved within a sentence, I felt it definitely didn’t need to even be in there...I also found the epilogue a little weird. I’m assuming it was setting up future book/books which I’m going to admit I don’t like. I want the epilogue all about the main characters. That’s just me. I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

My first foray into Milan’s writing and I am so so in love. I think it can be so hard with a novella to build a full story. A story with feels, butterflies, building that want and resolution in half the amount of pages. But wow she did it. Absolutely loved this story. Our heroine wants something from the Duke of Claremont that he’s unwilling to give. He sends his man of business, a man known for his ruthlessness, to deal with her. The dialogue in this story has wonderful flow, it’s funny, it’s powerful. I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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To Resist a Scandalous Rogue by Liana De la Rosa

You meet Finlay, our hero, in the first book of the series (To Love a Scandalous Rogue). This book can be read as a stand alone but I recommend the first because it gives you a better background of the family scandal, as well as just being really good so I’m going to recommend it anyway. Finlay is the twin brother of the heroine in book 1. Finlay and Charlotte have a chance meeting at a house party. Finlay is feeling rather exasperated with the ton life, the parties, and doesn’t realize what is missing until he meets Charlotte. Charlotte has just lost her husband while living in India. Abandoned and abused by his family, with no money, she is offered a job back in England that she finds she must refuse. They spend the night with each other, sharing their struggles and wants for life. Before Finlay can find who she is and form a lasting relationship she disappears. The story picks up a year later. Finlay is in the middle of establishing his seat for parliament and trying to make a name for himself despite his father’s reputation. Charlotte has found work teaching at the foundling home. I loved Finlay as a hero. He is so real and genuine. I really felt his struggle with wanting his career and wanting to love. They do not both come easy, and trying to tip the scale and balance it is a struggle. Charlotte was such a strong heroine as well. Being of Jewish faith, there were laws in place that restricted their rights and marriages during this time. The challenges she goes through with her husband's family are enough to break your heart. I would have liked the main characters to spend more time together. This book felt a tad divided between Finlay working on the politics aspect of his life and Charlotte working through her past demons and trying to live a peaceful life. I also would have loved to have seen more details of Charlotte's Jewish faith. I adored the epilogue so much, because it gave a clearer picture of her religion and how they overcame the struggles. Flora was a hoot in this book and I’m very very excited to read her story in the next release! I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Well, I am convinced that Milan is a fabulous writer. I so enjoyed the prequel novella to this series, The Governess Affair. And I did really like the writing in this book. I absolutely loved the first half in fact. I raced through it, enthralled with the unique hero and heroine. I haven't found many heroes like Robert. He's very sweet and caring with a past that just leaves him wanting love. He wants to atone for his father's sins by making to world a better place using his Duke advantages. Very much a beta hero, which I think can be hard to find. Minerva has quite the secret in her past she's eager to keep hidden. Her goals are the same as Robert's however and they keep getting thrown together until their attraction is too hard to deny. I think Milan tackles many topics that can be heavy but it's done in a wonderful way. It doesn't feel distasteful or like I've stepped into a book and I don't know how I arrived there. Vaccinations, abortion, basic human rights, working conditions, judgements, assumptions. This book was real in a way few reach for me. At the same time this was where it lost a star for me. The characters were very real and raw and honestly downright dislikable to me at some points. I was completely appalled at how they treated each other at some points. As someone else stated, I now get the title The Duchess War. I also found I just didn't love the hero. I really liked him, but I want/need to love my heroes. I just wasn't dying for that first kiss. The feels were a little low for things after. Still, I definitely recommend this book. Milan is a fabulous writer. I was very immersed in the world she created. And there are some absolutely amazing scenes in this book. I adored the ending. Just wonderful. I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell

I loved most of this story! I dove right in and found it just hilarious, sexy and fun right from the beginning. Mina has been sheltered her whole life by her uncle, but she desperately dreams of adventure like her spy parents. Drew suffers from his past and has retreated to his Cornwall estate to work with turnips and sheep. I was worried this book would be extremely action filled and spy centered (similar to the last book in the series) which really isn't my thing. But, I just loved it. It had enough action and plot to move the story along yet was still focused on the tension, feelings, and relationship building. This story had so much humor and fun in the beginning. A book that can have me grinning like a fool while reading it, I just adore that. Their relationship was so sweet the way it developed. I really wanted them to be together. I felt like I got to know their characters and spent time in both their heads to know what they were feeling. Lenora Bell writes heroines that really go after what they want. I like that they aren't your usual shaking virgin with no idea about their bodies. They are curious virgins that can't wait to explore. (Not that she writes only virgins, this book was though) Her scenes are detailed and steamy. She's an author that is quickly becoming a favorite to try. My only complaint comes at the end of the book. I just did NOT understand the whole delay to marriage thing. And the fact that Mina lets it go 2 weeks is just absurd to me. I loved Drew so much at this point that I felt like Mina lost major points with me for acting like that. But seriously enjoyed this book overall. It was a book that every time I had to stop I was thinking about getting back to it. So excited to put the kids to bed so I could continue reading. I highly recommend. I give 4.5 rounded to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Barbarous by Minerva Spencer

This is the second book in The Outcasts series by Minerva Spencer. Her first book, Dangerous, was a book I enjoyed as well. If you read that one prior to this, you'll know 1-2 of the characters but I don't think its necessary. I was momentarily confused when reading this book because it seems like this book takes place prior to the first. You'll meet the heroine of the book Dangerous prior to most of that books events. Threw me for a loop for a minute... I rather enjoy Minerva Spencer's writing. I love her sex scenes, they are lengthy and steamy and explore a bit beyond the twice missionary you find in some books. I think she's witty and quite funny but in a different way than Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare, etc. I wouldn't suggest reading her books for a laugh because it's not the focus, but there are scenes and sentences that make me laugh and smirk. Spencer touches on hard subjects and her stories seem to me to be pretty unique. Both heroines I have read about have been experienced women, in a way, yet innocent. Trigger warning for rape, but it's a past experience, not something you actively read in the book. Hugh has left life in England to face a number of horrors, eventually becoming a privateer. He returns to his estate, long thought dead, to solve a few problems brought to his attention. Daphne has also experienced horrors in her life, which is she alternatively trying to hide from Hugh and getting the guts to tell him. The book deals with their past stories coming back to haunt them and them finding love through it. Daphne is Hugh's aunt by marriage (She married his uncle while he was gone). He calls her “Auntie” in the book and it was slightly disturbing at first but I then found it hilarious. I loved the sexual tension built in this story. Hugh was just wonderful, although sometimes I found myself wondering how he was as cheerful and positive as he was after his past experiences. He did show his dark side a few times. I guess I wouldn't have minded more of that peeking through. My complaint about this book was I found the middle surprisingly boring. There was a lot of time spent in each main character's head but a lack of dialogue between them, or any action happening. It did drag for me a bit. Not enough to put me off her future books though. I'd also like to say this is probably my favorite cover, ever. I just adore it. The colors, the scene, those arms, that dress. LOVE. I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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To Wed a Wild Scot by Anna Bradley

I loved this book. LOVED. Sigh. I love you Anna Bradley. I LOVE YOU!!! This was one of those books I just couldn't put down. I started it late at night. And I just couldn't stop. Wait, it's after midnight? Don't care, this story has totally enthralled me. Wait, it's after 1 and my husband is snoring in my ear? I'm too in love with these characters to care. It's after 2 and my children will be up in 4 hours going bonkers? No regrets. My husband woke up and was like, “YOU'RE STILL READING?? Go to bed, it's like 1am!” Me, looking at the kindle that clearly says 3:06am....okay honey. Then, I couldn't even fall right asleep when I finished. My eyes felt wide behind my closed lids, replaying my favorite parts of this story. My heart was still clenched in my test, filling the whole thing. I felt like the grinch cartoon after he learns what Christmas truly means. And her heart grew three sizes that day, all because of Logan and Juliana. I am still floating in book love. Four hours of sleep, with a smile on my face and new favorite characters in my heart. It's a great day to try this death wish coffee my husband bought haha! Juliana has some things she must accomplish. She must find a husband to protect the guardianship of her beloved niece, Grace. Unfortunately for her, two of her betrothals have failed and she is quickly running out time. She pins the blame on Logan, who she demands to fix the situation. The first half of this book takes place in Scotland and it is just wonderful. I could so clearly experience the scenery. I quickly fell in love with Juliana. I read usually for the hero, but there was just something about her gumption and personality I couldn't help but love. Logan has behaved despicably before the book really even gets going. As time goes on, you understand what drove him to do what he does. The time in Scotland is just so precious to me. Feeling each other out, learning each other's personality. Being totally surprised by what the other becomes after the initial assumptions. The butterflies and beginnings of love. I adored the entire scene leading up to their first kiss and the kiss itself. I think they both take each other completely by surprise. Logan is a wonderful hero. He cares so much about Scotland and his people. He doesn't really know what to make of Juliana. He knows her through letters he was never supposed to read and has made wrong assumptions about her. As he watches her determination and fierce stubbornness, you can feel his confusion and pull towards her. I adored feeling him fall in love. The second half of the book takes you back to London. This time is angst filled and riddled with miscommunications. Jealousy, uncertainty about each other, they must learn to trust each other. Juliana does something that makes me ever so sad. This book just felt real to me. Real mistakes, doubts, the pain of hurting someone and trying to fix it. I thought they were both flawed characters that persevered through to find the gift of true love. There is a lot of Gaelic in this book. She does include a guide at the end, so you can glance at that to decipher. I didn't know it was there until I finished haha. This book also touches on the Highland Clearances, which I've never heard anything about. Absolutely heartbreaking history. I love books that take place in Scotland, and to see the breakdown of the clan systems after so much time, it's so sad. The book feels well researched and of course I adore Bradley's writing style. Her characters fly off the page to me, full bodied and real. I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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