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Monthly Archives: January 2012

She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath

I am a great admirer of Ms. Heath’s books. She develops characters with depth and a full range of emotions. Lady Mary Wynn-Jones and Sebastian Easton were childhood friends. Sebastian’s father had died in an accident and he was to inherit the Duke of Keswick title with its extensive properties. After the accident, Mary overheard Sebastian’s uncle give orders to kill his three nephews so that he could steal the title. Mary helped the boys run away before anything bad could happen to them.

Twelve years later, the uncle was on the verge of having the boys declared dead and claiming the title. The boys returned–all being injured physically and/or mentally–before the uncle could claim the title. Needless to say, there was not a joyous reunion between uncle and nephews. Sebastian has been through a war–losing an eye among other physical ailments. I, personally, would have preferred a hero who was a little less maimed but it doesn’t detract too much from the story.

At this time, the uncle is still determined to get the title at all costs and the nephews are determined that he pay for his crimes and misdeeds. Lady Mary was always drawn to Sebastian and his injuries do nothing to hinder those tender feelings. There are a few obstacles that stand in the way before Mary and Sebastian can find happiness–including Mary’s fiance. But Mary is still protecting her old friends which leads her into tarnishing her reputation. Sebastian feels the need to come to her rescue since he was the cause of her indiscretions. Although our hero and heroine go down a crooked road before they realize that they have always cared for the other, true love eventually wins out as well as our villain getting his comeuppance.

This book was an easy read which flowed smoothly and I just enjoyed going along for the ride. Hopefully, Ms. Heath will give the other brother stories and loves of their own to help them heal from their arduous ordeals. It was very satisfying to see Sebastian transform from a tormented man to someone who has attained all of his dreams. I give this book a Very Good recommendation.

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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Escape to Paradise by Pamela Yaye

I have not read any of Ms. Yaye’s previous books but if her heroines are anything like this one, I won’t be reading another one again. This book for me was a train wreck from the very beginning. I had so many problems with this book that it is too hard to list them all. Claudia Jefferies is a successful event planner who just divorced her older husband of several years. On the day the divorce became finalized, her ex-husband was arrested for fraud. The public and the police treated Claudia as if she was an accomplice in the fraud. Her answer to this was to get upset, change her hairstyle, hire a less than mediocre attorney, and then run away. Instead of getting some competent advice, she wanted to be “independent” and solve these problems by herself. Now is not the time to do it yourself when you can be thrown into jail.

First of all, wigs would have been a better answer to the hair change because she could change her looks at a moment’s notice. She could have contacted any lawyer referral service to find an attorney who has won a fraud case. And she ran away after all of her assets were frozen–meaning how does she intend to pay for anything. Being broke, the author even had her hesitating to accept a lucrative job offer. Ms. Yaye made a point of telling us that Claudia is a college graduate and has run her own business. Claudia should have been able to find a decent attorney if she ran her own business especially since she had to be using contracts as an event planner.

Claudia runs away to Cabo San Lucas and met Santiago Medina at the airport. She had already turned away every enquiring man but Santiago was determined to spend time with her. With her surly attitude, I couldn’t see the attraction. The dynamics and other relationships in the story were equally irksome such as, out of nowhere, Santiago’s father jumps down Claudia’s throat without listening to her side of the story. The story was so disjointed that I could not wait until it was over.

To make matters worse, this book actually ended before we found out what happened with Claudia or her ex-husband’s SEC case. Claudia’s actions are unbelievable under the circumstances and I could never believe that Santiago is that enamored with her. This book was just too problematic and I cannot recommend this book.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Pride & Passion by Charlotte Featherstone

This book is a sequel to Seduction & Scandal and I must admit that I did not like the heroine, Lucy Ashton, when she was introduced in that book. Unfortunately, this book did not make me like her any better in her own story. I found her to have a spoiled, stubborn personality with not much consideration for anyone else other than herself. The book, at least, furthered our knowledge of the issues started in the first book but I was barely interested in the plot the first time and I definitely started losing the rest of my interest while reading this one.

The Duke of Sussex has always had a tendre for Lucy since he first spotted her years ago. He requests her hand in marriage from her father and is given permission to marry her. Lucy feels that the Duke is a stick in the mud and goes out of her way to discourage him. But the Duke has waited too long and has done too much to win the love of his life so he has no intention of being dissuaded in his pursuit of her. Lucy still has feelings for previous lover who she thought was dead. She has embraced the occult in order to communicate with him once again. It doesn’t take much intelligence from the reader to determine that there is something havey-cavey about her previous love’s death. Lucy manages to get herself into much danger with the Duke constantly having to protect her and bail her out of trouble. Personally, I could see no reason why the Duke is so enamored of Lucy. She has shown me nothing in either of these stories why someone would do anything to win her love.

Ms. Featherstone has tried to explain some of the reasons why protecting the relics and understanding Lucy is plausible but I can’t accept them. I can only recommend this book to someone who is interested in the series and want to learn more about the Brethren. I, for one, will stop reading about them with this book.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel by Samantha Grace

Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel is an interesting story about a young lady who has experienced betrayal in love and is not looking for a marriage in the near future. Unfortunately for her, her mother does not feel the same way and wants her daughter married as soon as humanly possible. Lana Hillary is running away from a persistent suitor when she meets Lord Andrew Forest who helps her elude being compromised. Lord Andrew is known for being a rake and is in no hurry to end his bachelorhood. Much to his surprise, he finds himself attracted to a woman who will go to any lengths to avoid marriage. He decides to pursue her but not necessarily for a permanent arrangement. He just likes to interact and spend time with her or so he thinks.

Unfortunately for Lord Andrew, Miss Hillary’s brother does not like him and does everything in his power to keep the two of them from even being in the same proximity. This doesn’t slow our hero down. He arranges to spend time with her at his parents’ country party since Lana will be there to support her best friend, Andrew’s sister-in-law, during her first stages of pregnancy. Lana senses that Andrew could be trouble and she tries to stay away from him. But Andrew enlists the aid of any one he can to get Lana alone so that that he can seduce her. As Drew spends more time with Lana, his feelings escalate and he can see that Lana might be the right women for him as he enjoys her company more and more. Lana has already had one encounter with a rakish fiance and is in no hurry to hook up with another one. Drew is determined to woo Lana and get her to accept his offer of marriage.

Ms. Grace entices the reader in watching how Drew lands his prize. The path to happiness isn’t smooth and there are others who wish to take advantage of our heroine along with a mother who is determined to see her daughter married at all costs. I enjoyed the scenes between Lana and Andrew as well as the well written secondary characters. I would like to have read a little more on how her mother evolved to her current state. There were also some other loose story ends that will probably be cleared up in future sequels but I wish that they were not so prevalent in this story. I give this story a Good recommendation.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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The Husband Hunt by Lyndsay Sands

I usually enjoy stories written by Lyndsay Sands. She always has a way with writing a story that is delightfully interesting and captivates your attention. She succeeds in doing just that with The Husband Hunt. Lisa Madison is a slightly na├»ve but lovable heroine who gets caught in some very compromising situations. She has been in love with Robert Langley since she was in leading strings and decided long ago that he was going to be her future husband. The problem with this scenario is that Robert has no intention of getting married to Lisa or anyone else because of his parents’ horrible marriage. The question is who will change their mind first–Lisa or Robert. Minds get changed several times before this couple finds romance.

Somewhere along the way Lisa has picked up a stalker who leaves no stone unturned in wanting to grab her. Being that Lisa has just recently come to London for the season from the country, she is not experienced in dealing with some of the not so well meaning town people. Although Robert doesn’t want Lisa for himself, he decides to move in with her family to protect her from her unknown stalking suitor. This results in Robert finally looking at Lisa and recognizing that she is a fully grown woman who actually appeals to him. Of course, Robert isn’t going down without a fight and after he pulls away from Lisa too many times, she decides to look at some of her other suitors for love. While protecting Lisa, Robert feels the ice slowly melting around his heart and he sees Lisa with different eyes. Now after having rejected Lisa’s love in the past, Robert must woo her and prove to her that he is the best man for her.

I really enjoyed how Lisa gradually start seeing the real world and Robert grew as a caring and considerate man. Ms. Sands has also written a nice suspenseful story with a villain that you can’t wait to see get his comeuppance. The only thing that I would have suggested is that Ms. Sands could have lengthened the scene where the villain is apprehended and finally dealt with. I would have liked to know more about his past and the motives which caused him to become such a monster. I give this story a Very Good recommendation.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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The Last Cowboy by Lyndsay McKenna

The Last Cowboy is one of the few books that I have read that was written by Ms. McKenna. I was very impressed with her storytelling abilities. The characters were believable and I became engrossed in the couple’s problems and how they worked to solve them. I definitely plan to read more of her books in the future.

Jordana Lawton is an emergency room medical doctor who wants to participate in more competitive endurance races with her horse. Slade McPherson competes himself and takes on serious students to help finance his ranch operations. Slade and his twin brother, Griff, inherited the ranch from their parents who died when they were youngsters. The twins were separated after their parents’ death which caused them to have different values in life. Slade is very lonely and almost ran Jordana away because he felt something for her at their first meeting. Jordana is attracted to the lonely rancher and doesn’t back down from exploring possibilities with Slade. She convinces him to take her on as a student when he realizes that she is serious about succeeding as an endurance rider. This story follows them along as Slade begins to let Jordana into his heart and she proves to be his rock and salvation.

There are plenty of problems greeting this couple before they can settle down to a blissful life ranging from bank payments that Slade can hardly make to dealing with an unemployed estranged brother. Slade also has a jealous competitor who is unscrupulous enough to not let anything stand in his way to get what he wants. All of these elements translated to an entertaining read with an opportunity to learn about little known horse races. I give this book a Good recommendation and look forward to reading a sequel about the estranged brother.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Private Arrangements by Brenda Jackson

I must admit before I begin this review that I am an avid Brenda Jackson afficionada. I have read her entire catalogue of books and liked every one. My expectations for her books are extremely high and she has never disappointed me yet and this book is no exception. The story grabbed my attention from the very first page. Nikki Cartwright and Jonas Steele are both gorgeous, intelligent, talented, sexy, and want something different in a romance. Nikki wants happily ever after with one man and Jonas wants happily ever after with a different woman every day.

Nikki is Jonas sister-in-law’s best friend which means that they run into each other quite often at family gatherings. Jonas runs an up and coming Marketing firm where he has used Nikki’s services as a freelance photographer on several successful projects. Eighteen months ago, Nikki and Jonas shared an extremely sensual kiss which made Jonas run for the hills until now. Presently, he has just been offered an account that could take his firm to the next level but he needs the best photographer for the marketing campaign and Nikki is the best. Nikki is hesitant about accepting the job because she was secretly almost in love with Jonas and didn’t want her heart broken by being so close to Jonas for an extended period of time. Jonas won’t take no for an answer and he does everything in his power to get her to accept his job offer.

As both Nikki and Jonas had anticipated, their being in each other’s company made the sparks come fast and furious between them. Their closeness just oozed sexual chemistry. They could barely keep their hands off each other and they made every excuse to be in each other’s company. Jonas learned what love really means and Nikki learned how to give her all in hopes of obtaining her dreams of babies and a happy marriage. I really loved how these two evolved and recognized their needs as they learned to be a loving couple. This might have been an unorthodox courting, but if agreeing to your own “private arrangements” helps you to get what you want most in life is well worth it.

I enjoyed reading about family members and friends of Ms. Jackson’s core fictional families and this book is just one more that I can add to my keeper file. I, enthusiasticly, give this book an Excellent recommendation with two thumbs up.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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