The Luck of the Bride (The Cavensham Heiress: Book 3) by Janna MacGregor

The Luck of the Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #3)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride – Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky – Book 2

The Luck of the Bride – Book 3

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke – Book 4 (expected publication date: December 4th, 2018)

Where you can find The Luck of the Bride: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Family secrets, mistaken identities…love and money make people do crazy things in The Luck of the Bride, the third Cavensham Heiresses novel.

March Lawson has never had much luck, and in a desperate move to save her family, she’s been posing as the Marquess of McCalpin. But when she’s summoned to a meeting with the Marquess himself, March expects jail time…not to be bewitched by dark hair and sapphire eyes.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin and heir to the Duke of Langham, finds himself drawn to March despite the judgments from his peers. He isn’t sure he can trust March, especially since Michael has a secret that could ruin him and his family.

But society conspires to keep March and Michael apart, and when March is accused of not being who she says she is, will Michael toss her aside or fight for the woman he’s come to love?

My review:

I went into reading The Luck of the Bride thinking that it would be a typical Regency era romance. I based my assumption on the blurb. So, wasn’t I surprised when the prologue set the tone for the entire book. I am not an emotional reader but this book made me ugly cry during most of it.

I had a lot of respect for March. She took over raising them after their parents died. Her sisters were preteens and her brother was an infant. She raised those children with no help and almost no money. When a damaged roof takes all the money that she had saved, March was driven to do something that she would have never considered. She embezzled money out of her dowry account. That money was going to the upkeep of the estate and more importantly, to keep food on the table.

I thought that March and McCalpin had chemistry from the beginning. So much heat came from a single glance. I did like that the author kept them from having sex until almost the end of the book. Even after that, the chemistry was still there.

The romance between March and McCalpin had me in tears during certain parts of the book. Theirs wasn’t a slow burn romance but it wasn’t Instalove either. They both had a lot of obstacles to overcome. Trust was a huge issue on either end. Mainly on McCalpin.

I liked McCalpin from the get-go. His secret, while not shocking, was painful for him. I could understand why but I didn’t understand why he didn’t tell his parents earlier. Pride and not wanting his father to think any less of him was a huge reason. I loved how March was the only one for him as soon as he met her. Even though they met because she embezzled money from him. Her money but still. He only had eyes for her.

I wanted to strangle Cousin Rupert. He was an awful, awful man. When he burst into the ball with his “evidence” of March being a bastard, I wanted to throat punch him. Before that, I wanted to kick him in the boy bits for lusting after Julia and being horrid to Faith. All I have to say is that he got what he deserved in the end.

The end of the book was fantastic. The author did a great job of bringing all the storylines to a close. There were no storylines left dangling or forgotten. The emotional scene between McCalpin and March had me sobbing. The epilogue was spot on!! I am hoping that there are more books in this series!!

What I liked about The Luck of the Bride:

A) Excellent romance

B) Fantastic storyline

C) 3D characters

What I disliked about The Luck of the Bride:

A) March resorting to embezzlement to keep a roof over her head.

B) Cousin Rupert. He disgusted me.

C) McAlpin’s secret

I would give The Luck of the Bride an Adult rating. There is sex. There is mild violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in The Luck of the Bride.

I would recommend The Luck of the Bride to family and friends. I would reread this book.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Luck of the Bride.

All opinions stated in this review of The Luck of the Bride are mine.

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

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

The High Tide Club

4 Stars

Publisher: St.  Martin’s Press

Date of publication: May 8th, 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Mystery

Trigger Warning: Rape, Attempted Rape, Domestic Violence

Where you can find The High Tide Club: Amazon | Goodreads

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Weekender comes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found.

My Review:

I went into this book thinking that it would be your typical chick-lit book. Well, it isn’t. What I discovered is that The High Tide Club is so much more than that. This was a wonderfully written book that didn’t let its secrets up until the end.

I loved the main storyline of the book. A 99-year-old heiress summons a lawyer to her island. The lawyer agrees to take on her requests: protect her island from the state and to find her friends heirs. But in doing that, the lawyer uncovers more secrets. When the heiress dies before her will was finalized. But there are questions about the heiresses death. There is also a question about who should inherit her fortune. The more digging the lawyer does, the more secrets and mysteries are uncovered. Can the lawyer fulfill her client’s requests and keep impartial? Or will she be swept away by the secrets that keep turning up?

 

This book had everything to keep me engaged as a reader. Romance? Yup, there. Mystery? Tons of it. Action? Surprisingly yes. Suspense? Yes. Thriller? Surprisingly, yes. When an author can combine different genres into a book and make them work, it is great. And this author did that.

I thought the main characters, Brooke and Josephine were well written. Their strong personalities came off the pages. I couldn’t help but care about what was going to happen with the island and its inhabitants after Josephine dies. I also came to care for Brooke. She had her problems but she strove to meet them head on. I could see her character growth throughout the book. The change in her from the beginning of the book was amazing.

The secondary characters added that extra “ummph” to the book. They were able to fill in the gaps in the storyline with their own stories and personalities. That makes a book so much more enjoyable for me to read.

There was only one thing that I didn’t like about this book. It was how the book went from past to present and back without warning. I did get confused at times about what era I was reading about until names were given. It did affect my rating because I like my books to run smoothly. And for the most part it did.

I loved, loved, loved the mystery angle of the book. Not only did the author keep the main mystery under wraps but she did a fantastic job of keeping all the other ones too. I only figured out two of them and that was by doing a process of elimination. The twist that she threw in for the main one got me because I was not expecting that to happen. But, it was the murder mystery that shocked me. Looking back, I could see it now. And I understood why that person did what they did.

The romance angle of the book was kind of messed up. Almost every one of the romances ended badly. Even the one that was hinted about at the end of the book, I was iffy about. But when the romance was on, it was good. Sweet, almost.

The end of the book was bittersweet. The author did a great job of wrapping up all the storylines. As a reader, I was very satisfied by that.

What I liked about The High Tide Club:

A) Excellent storylines

B) Kept me engaged as a reader

C) Romance and Mystery angle was fantastic

What I disliked about The High Tide Club:

A) Book didn’t transition smoothly between past and present

B) The C.D. storyline.

C) Brooke. I didn’t like her

I would give The High Tide Club an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. Mainly because of the triggers.

The High Tide Club does have trigger warnings. They would be rape, attempted rape, and domestic violence. There is a scene with a young teenager about to be raped (the author didn’t get into it). There is also a scene that features attempted rape along with domestic violence. If you are triggered by any of these, I suggest not reading the book.

I would recommend The High Tide Club to family and friends. I would include a warning about the triggers. This is a book that I would reread.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The High Tide Club.

All opinions stated in this review of The High Tide Club are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles: Book 1) by L. Penelope

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1)

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Series: Earthsinger Chronicles

Song of Blood & Stone – Book 1

Whispers of Shadow & Flame – Book 2

Cry of Metal & Bone – Book 3

Where you can find Song of Blood & Stone: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers. 

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart. 

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps. 

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation. 

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

My Review:

I like fantasy. I like New Adult/Young Adult fantasy. I like romance. Why is it so hard to find a book that can focus on all three of those genres equally? I have had issues with books that combine the three genres together. I can’t find a book that competently blends all 3 of those genres. Don’t get me wrong, Song of Blood & Stone does a great job at attempting to combine them. But it didn’t click for me.

I thought that Song of Blood & Stone got off to a fantastic start. The author set the tone for the entire book perfectly. But, by the middle of the book, when Jasminda was in Elsira’s capital, the book started to falter. By the end of the book, I wasn’t engaged with the characters anymore and the storyline annoyed me. I am hoping that the second book will draw me back in because this book had so much potential.

I thought that Jasminda got the raw end of the deal. She was hated by the village because of her Earthsong.  Her maternal grandfather wanted her to disown her family if she wanted help. To top it off, she ends up getting put in the middle of a looming war. A war that Jack tried to stop but didn’t succeed. Hatred of her other heritage, the Lagamiri ran deep in Elsira. Even in the castle, Jasminda wasn’t exempt from the hatred of the Elsiran people. I felt awful for her. It was a wonder that she didn’t crack sooner.

Jack got under my skin. I did think he was going to be a temporary character, at first. So when the twist in his storyline came, I was not ready for it. The author did a great job of portraying him as a tortured man. He was torn between the love of his country and the love for a woman that was half of the enemy. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the stress he was under. But, saying that, I found his actions later in the book awful. He did not stand up for Jasminda. He wanted to hide what they had. He did what he thought was right at the time (even though I thought it was wrong, wrong, wrong). Not going to say what it was but if I was Jasminda, I would have told him to take a hike or punched him in the face. Probably both.

The storyline of the Earthbenders of old was fascinating. This is one part of the book that I correctly guessed at what was going to happen who those people ended up being. It was still a surprise when it came out at the end of the book.

The storyline of the refugees touched my heart. I did liken it in ways to the waves of people coming out of Syria. People displaced because of who they are. They can’t go back because they will be put in harm’s way or killed. And they can’t stay where they are because people don’t understand and fear them.

There was chemistry between Jack and Jasminda. From the minute they met each other, sparks flew. The author kept those sparks keep fanning until they did the deed. Then I felt that the relationship went flat. But, considering what was going on at the time, I now wonder if that was the author’s plan. If it was, it was ingenious of her to do that.

What I didn’t like was that there were a couple of dropped storylines. The one that sticks out in my mind was the man who gave Jack the cornerstone that he thought was a map. It was speculated who he was. Then the storyline was dropped. Also, the mystery woman who the guard was talking to in Jasminda’s cottage. She was mentioned once in the book and then that was it.

The end of Song of Blood & Stone felt a bit anticlimactic. I kept waiting to see if there was anything more to Jack and Jasminda’s storyline once the Queen said what she said. I did like the small twist at the end considering how the True Father and The Queen Who Sleeps looked like. I laughed at that because those bigoted, ignorant people were fools. It was the end of the book that made me want to read the second book. I need to see where this story is going. And I am hoping that it will be better than this book.

What I liked about Song of Blood & Stone:

A) Great world building

B) Interesting storyline in the beginning

C) 3D characters

What I disliked about Song of Blood & Stone:

A) Storyline faltered towards the middle of the book

B) Jack’s treatment of Jasminda towards the end of the book

C) Dropped storylines

I would give Song of Blood & Stone a rating of Older Teen. There is violence. There are sexual situations and sex. The sex is not graphic and actually seemed rushed through. No language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in Song of Blood & Stone. They are: extreme racial prejudice and talk of rape.

I am on the fence about recommending Song of Blood & Stone to family and friends. If I did, I would include a warning of the triggers. While I would not reread this book, I am open to reading other books by the author.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Song of Blood & Stone.

All opinions stated in this review of Song of Blood & Stone are mine.

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

Blog Tour: A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides: Book 9) by Valerie Bowman

A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides, #9)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Historical romance, romance

Series: Playful Brides

The Unexpected Duchess – Book 1

The Accidental Countess – Book 2

The Unlikely Lady – Book 3

The Irresistible Rouge – Book 4

The Unforgettable Hero – Book 4.5

The Untamed Earl – Book 5

The Legendary Lord – Book 6

Never Trust a Pirate – Book 7

The Right Kind of Rogue – Book 8

A Duke Like No Other – Book 9

Kiss Me at Christmas – Book 10 (expected publication date: October 30th, 2018)

Where you can find A Duke Like No Other: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

General Mark Grimaldi is devoted to his service for the Crown, risking his life and giving up everything for his career. The political promotion he’s always wanted is now within his reach, but he needs to convince his estranged wife to return to England and play the role of happy bride in order for him to get the position.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent the past ten years in France, not having seen her husband since she left England. But now he’s on her doorstep, asking her to return with him, and Nicole sees the opportunity to get something out of this deal. So she agrees, on one condition: she wants a baby.

A Duke Like No Other is a Regency spy caper with Valerie Bowman at her best as husband and wife match wits and may just fall in love in the process.

My review:

I love a good second chance romance. There is nothing like seeing two people separated by circumstances reuniting. So when I was approached to review A Duke Like No Other and I read the blurb, I accepted.

I enjoyed reading this book. I am a huge fan of Regency Era romances. Something about that period calls to me. I like that the women can be smart but get the man. I also like that the men were willing to do anything to prove that they loved their women. I loved that allure of the ton and the endless balls/functions that the Lords and Ladies attended. I loved the titles (I mean, hello Duke!!!) and the description of life back then. While I know it wasn’t at all easy, I enjoyed reading about that upper-class. My guilty pleasure.

I haven’t read any of the other books in this series. But if they are anything like A Duke Like No Other, I will be happy with them. I liked that while this book is in a series, you can read it as a stand-alone. I have a couple of pet peeves when I read books out-of-order from the series. I can’t stand it when I get a book that is like 254th in a series and it is taken over by the previous characters antics. Or when the author relies too much on the plotlines from the other books and leaves me going “What the heck is going on“. Fortunately for this book, none of what I mentioned happened. While the previous characters are mentioned and featured, they do not take over the plot.

I did like the main characters but I wish that the author came clean with why they broke up sooner. Instead, she let it leak, slowly, throughout the book. Seeing that I read these books on my Kindle, I can’t skip to the end. So reading the flashbacks drove me nuts. I was done with that part of the plot before it began.

I thought that Mark and Nicole needed a lesson in communication. While I agreed with why Mark being so upset with Nicole, it didn’t deserve a break-up. I also think that Nicole might have overreacted a bit when she moved to France. All they needed to do was talk and Mark would have gotten the entire story from Nicole instead of reading it in a letter from her mother.

I thought Mark had a huge chip on his shoulder. HUGE. It was his unwillingness to bend when it came to his mother’s family that left a bad taste in his mouth. He refused to acknowledge anyone. He was going to decline something that he shouldn’t have because of that chip. It wasn’t until the letters that he started to bend. But I did think it was going to be too late to make amends with his uncle and cousins.

I liked Nicole but like I mentioned above, I thought that it was silly that she ran to France to lick her wounds. I also thought that her condition to Mark’s request was a little odd. It wasn’t commonplace at that time for a woman, married or not, to raise a child on her own. And in France of all places. I also found her choice of profession a bit odd and at ends for the era. Not saying that it could have happened but it was very unlikely.

The chemistry and heat between Nicole and Mark were there. Oh, boy was it there. And the sex was hot. It was kind of dirty too. I liked that. I liked that Nicole knew what she wanted and she wasn’t afraid to let Mark know. I liked that Mark didn’t forget what turned Nicole on after 10 years. Like I said, the chemistry and heat between them were hot. I was surprised that my Kindle didn’t fog up.

I liked the mystery angle that was introduced halfway through the book. It made the plot more interesting and added some extra depth to the plot. I do have to laugh at Mark being jealous of Oakleaf. I giggled at that.

The end of the book was perfect. I was very surprised at who the murderer ended up being. It was the last person I thought it was. The author did a great job at casting red herrings all over the place to distract the reader. Of course, the part where Mark and Nicole get back together was the clincher of the book. I had tears in my eyes while reading it. And the epilogue. I couldn’t get over it!!

What I liked about A Duke Like No Other:

A) Regency England

B) Mark and Nicole’s romance

C) Second chance romance

What I disliked about A Duke Like No Other:

A) Took too long to disclose why Mark and Nicole broke up

B) Zero communication between Mark and Nicole

C) Mark’s huge chip on his shoulder

I would give A Duke Like No Other an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is mild violence. There is not any language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings for A Duke Like No Other.

I would recommend this book to family and friends. I would also reread this book.

Author Bio:

VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.

 

Summary:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.


Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today

“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews

“Smoldering.” —Booklist

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Books – A- Million

Indie Bound

Powells

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

 

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review A Duke Like No Other.

All opinions stated in this review of A Duke Like No Other are mine.

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

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced: Book 3) by Kerrelyn Sparks

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: March 27th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Series: The Embraced

How to Tame a Beast in 7 Days – Book 1

So I Married a Sorcerer – Book 2

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon – Book 3

Where you can find Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon: Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

My review:

First off, I want to comment on the model for the cover of the book. Can we say “Yum?” He is what I pictured Silas would look like. Thank you to whoever had to good sense to choose this model. He will help boost sales on this book.

I had an “Oops, I did it again” type of hiccup when I signed up to review this book on NetGalley. Usually, if I get the hint that the book is part of series, I look it up on Goodreads and make my decision. As it turns out, I didn’t see the “A novel of the Embraced” on the blurb that NetGalley puts up. Or the series list that Goodreads has. I was distracted when accepting this book. I am glad I did. Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon was a great read. I did get lost with some of the references made about the plotlines of the earlier books and the Chameleon.

The plotline for Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon was interesting. Gwennore is an Elf who was raised on a secret island with 4 other girls. They all have had the misfortune of being born when the two moons of their world eclipse. Any child who is born when that happens is born with a magical power.

Gwennore was watching her adopted sister’s 3-year-old daughter when a dragon suddenly appears and snatches the toddler up. Gwennore clings to the dragon in a desperate attempt to rescue her. After being thrown from the dragon and being caught by another, Gwennore is brought to the land of Novreshka. A land that is dangerous. A land that Gwennore will fight for her life, to get to the bottom of an ancient curse, to heal the people of Novreshka, and for the love of a man who has many secrets. What Gwennore doesn’t know is that her secrets, secrets that have been hidden from her, could be the undoing of everything that she has fought so hard for.

I liked Gwennore even though I felt bad for her. She was not accepted outside of her sisters because she was an Elf. That whole scene with those Lords made me mad. She was too sweet to even stick up for herself and she refused to let Brody shift and bite them. I did think that when she spoke Novreshkaish, it was a little odd. But when she told Silas where she learned it from, I laughed. She was speaking like they did centuries before. I liked that she was willing to do anything to find a cure for the curse that was affecting Novreshka. I figured out her parentage fairly early in the book. I did think it took her a little longer to figure out the connection between Puff and Silas. I figured it out before her…lol.

I loved Silas. I thought he was awesome the entire book. He would do anything for his family. But if it crossed a line, which kidnapping Gwennore’s niece did, he was willing to right the wrong. He was such a mystery in the first half of the book. I liked how the author gradually leaked his background. His biggest secret, though, I guessed halfway through the book. I like it when the main character can make me laugh. Silas certainly did. He was a cheeky bugger.

There is Instalove in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. I don’t like Instalove. I know most people do but I like a believable romance. One where the love is built up. Not one where all it takes is one look and bam, you are in love. Strangely, it does work in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. But just because it works, doesn’t mean I will start liking Instalove.

The chemistry between Gwennore and Silas was off the charts off. The author did a great job of maintaining that spark between them until they had sex. And let me tell you about the sex. Holy crap was it good. Silas couldn’t have picked a better place to deflower Gwennore. At their version of the North Pole, under the Northern lights. It was beautiful and unbelievably sexy.

What I didn’t like was that past books were referenced. While the author did a great job of following up with an explanation about what the characters were talking about, I still felt that I was out of the loop.

I loved how the author kept the secret of the dragons a secret until almost the end of the book. Saying that I did guess the secret halfway through the book. I also liked how the author connected that secret to the issues that had befallen the kings and queens. It made for a very interesting read.

The end of the book was not what I expected. It was a bittersweet ending. Silas’s happiness was tempered by something that happened towards the end of the book. The author ended Silas and Gwennore’s romance in a way that satisfied me. But she didn’t end all the storylines. She left enough leeway that you know there will be a book 4. I am wondering if it will be Maeve or Sorcha???

What I liked about Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon:

A) Fun, flirty storyline

B) Gwennore and Silas’s romance

C) Plot twists were kept secret until they were revealed

What I didn’t like about Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon:

A) 3rd book in a series

B) Instalove

C) Past books were referenced and leaving me confused

I would give Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon an Adult rating. This is a book that I wouldn’t let anyone under the age of 21 read. There are explicit sex and violence. No language. There is one scene where a man is pushed into a boiling hot spring and boiled alive. I didn’t easily get that scene out of my mind.

There are trigger warnings in this book. They would be: kidnapping, murder and attempted murder. If you are triggered by any of these, I would suggest not to read the book.

I would recommend Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon to family and friends. I would include a warning about the triggers. I would reread this book and I would happily read the rest of the series.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon.

All opinions stated in this review of Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon are mine.

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

Wonderblood by Julia Whicker

Wonderblood

2 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: April 3rd, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic, Dystopia

Where you can find Wonderblood: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A dystopian fantasy about war, faith, and waiting for space shuttles. 

Set five-hundred years in the future, Wonderblood is Julia Whicker’s fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off millions. Those who remain to worship the ruins of NASA’s space shuttles and Cape Canaveral is their Mecca. Medicine and science have been rejected in favour of magic, prophecy, and blood sacrifice.
When traveling marauders led by the blood-thirsty Mr. Capulatio invade her camp, a young girl named Aurora is taken captive as his bride and forced to join his band on their journey to Cape Canaveral. As the war nears, she must decide if she is willing to become her captor’s queen. But then other queens emerge, some grotesque and others aggrieved, and not all are pleased with the girl’s ascent. 

Politics and survival are at the centre of this ravishing novel that will delight fans of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance.

Trigger Warning: child abuse, pedophilia, and graphic violence

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Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: March 27, 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 336

POV: 3rd person and 1st person

Where you can find Not That I Could Tell: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence

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