book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: November 14th, 2018

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

Nothing much. Because of no school on Monday (because of Veteran’s Day), I am off a day. I keep thinking that today is Tuesday. That meant I almost forgot to put out my trash last night (trash is Wednesdays here). I am in Thanksgiving prep mode here. We have the ham and turkey breast bought (ahead of time, which is a miracle for us). I am in the process of trying to figure out the sides, other than stuffing and potatoes. I am also in birthday mode. Mr. Z’s birthday is the 20th and Miss B’s is the 24th. Which means that they are 1 year apart for 4 days. It used to drive Miss B nuts when she was younger. She was convinced that Mr. Z would eventually grow older than her…lol.

Reading:

I am finally caught up with my reading. Which is a miracle considering that I had almost no time to do things this weekend. As for reviews, I will be caught up after today. Happy dance!!


What I am currently reading:

Accidents Happen

click on the picture for Amazon link

Tabitha was a true survivor – until she wasn’t. One week before her loveless marriage to a wealthy man, a freak accident causes her soul to trade places with a womanising lush paying penance for his sins as a soul collector. While she waits for Death to unravel the bureaucratic red-tape and return her to her life, she’s forced to take on Mort’s duties, accompanied by the sexiest but rudest man she’s ever met. 

Cooper was a bank manager until his demise, and he’s got a lot of making up to do. He’s determined to be the best damn soul collector heav…he…Death has ever seen. Saddled with baby-sitting the soul of a selfish, amoral airhead, he’s determined to teach her a lesson.

Can Tabitha convince Death to switch her back before her wedding and her reputation are ruined? Will Cooper make her see the error of her ways? Or will Fate have the last laugh and teach them all a lesson in love?

I started reading this last night, as BK was playing Battlefield 4. By the middle of the 1st paragraph, I was giggling. I didn’t get much further but I am hoping that the book delivers on its promise. Very promising start, though!!


What I recently finished reading:

What About Us (Panic, #4)

Click on the picture for Amazon link

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

I have read and reviewed the other 3 books in the Panic series. So, I had high expectations for this book. It didn’t fail me. Not going to go into it (the book will be published November 20th) but I loved this book. Be on the lookout for my review on or after the publication date.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

Rend (Riven, #2)

After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings.

Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.

Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but when they meet, their chemistry is incendiary. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt finds himself living a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels like home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.

When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they’re going to make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it really will be forever.

I had read, reviewed and loved Riven. So when I saw the Rend was up for review, I snapped it up. I am pretty excited to read it!!!

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)

A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied… 

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?

The title drew me in for this book. I love it when titles reference movies/songs. I had also liked the other book in the series. So, we’ll see how I like it.


Perfectly Inappropriate

A woman scorned and a politician with a wild side connect online—and explore their hottest fantasies in the flesh.

Olivia Watts knows that her problems are painfully average. She got engaged, and her fiancé cheated. She gave up on her dream job—street photographer—and settled on a more practical one: graphic designer. She scrimped and saved to buy a home, only to realize how empty it was. So when Olivia hears about an exclusive dating app that matches subs with highly trained doms, she does something she never thought she’d do in a million years: She signs up. The last thing she expects to find is a man whose sizzling touch reawakens the woman she used to be. . . .

Noah Grant has no time for relationships. His sole purpose is to win reelection. That’s why he pays a premium to the discreet app that satisfies all his dark desires. But after sweet, innocent Olivia is vetted and arrives for their week together in his penthouse, it’s blatantly clear that she’s running from her demons. Noah’s more than willing to be her escape—until their emotions get tangled up in their games. Now, to become worthy of Olivia’s heart, Noah will have to prove that he’s more than a fantasy.

I am not normally a fan of erotica or BDSM. But when the blurb, I thought the story was a good one. After reading the reviews, I can’t wait to read the book!!


The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

First love is always the sweetest. 

For years, Abigail Linton devoted herself to caring for her aging parents and the children of her siblings. Now, eager to make her own life, she takes a position as governess on the neighboring estate. It shouldn’t matter that her absentee employer is Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell, the infamous rake who once broke her youthful heart. Surely he’s forgotten her, for he hasn’t set foot on his estate for fifteen years. At least, that is, until he arrives unexpectedly.

Max is incensed to meet his sister’s new governess. But why does Abby appear just as displeased to see him when it was she who’d rejected him all those years ago? Why is he so drawn to the independent spinster she has become? And why is there a sparkle in her beautiful blue eyes that suggests they might have a second chance at love?

I like second chance love stories. Add in that this is a historical romance. So, yeah. I had to read it. I am hoping that I absolutely love it!!


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · Ballantine Books · Dragonfly Press · NetGalley · Non ARC · RABT Book Tours · Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 4th through November 10th 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Exposed Fury

You Are The Everything

Dragon's Shadow

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Lakes of Mars

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Dragon’s Shadow—review here

Dragon's Shadow by Allison Morse

An Unlikely Setup—review here

An Unlikely Setup by Margaret Watson

Dragonfire—review here

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Spirit of Prophecy—review here

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Pandemonium—review here

Pandemonium

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

One Tough Cowboy (Moving Violations #1)

The Escape Room

The Liar's Child

The Military Wife (A Heart of a Hero, #1)

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · fantasy · NetGalley · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press

Dragonfire (Dark Kings: Book 14) by Donna Grant

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: October 30th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Series: Dark Kings

Dark Craving—Book 0.1

Night’s Awakening—Book 0.2

Dawn’s Desire—Book 0.3

Passion’s Claim—Book 0.4

Darkest Flame—Book 1

Fire Rising—Book 2

Burning Desire—Book 3

Hot Blooded—Book 4

Night’s Blaze—Book 5

Soul Scorched—Book 6

Dragon King—Book 6.5

Passion Ignites—Book 7

Smoldering Hunger—Book 8

Smoke and Fire—Book 9

Dragon Fever—Book 9.5

Firestorm—Book 10

Blaze—Book 11

Dragon Burn—Book 11.5

Constantine: A History—Book 11.6

Heat—Book 12 (review here)

Torched—Book 13

Dragon Night—Book 13.5

Dragonfire—Book 14

Where you can find Dragonfire: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?


Sabina is a Gypsy living with her brother near the Carpathian Mountains. When she was a child, her grandmother told her a story and made her promise to remember it. The story was about a kind Dragon King who’s sword was stolen by her ancestors. Because of that theft, her family was forced to leave their homeland and becoming Romani. She thought it was a legend until she met Roman and Vlad. Roman is helping his friend V find his stolen sword. Traveling to the Carpathian Mountains, they stumble upon Sabina and her brother Camlo. With urging from her brother, Sabina realizes that she needs to help the Kings find V’s sword. Their journey takes them to a mountain in Iceland where V’s sword might be. But there are wrenches thrown into their plans. A mysterious alliance between Druids and Fae threaten their quest. Can Sabina and Roman find the sword? Will they give into their attraction to each other? Or will everything fail?

I was pretty excited to read Dragonfire. I had read and reviewed Heat and enjoyed it. So I figured that I would like this book also. And I did. What I didn’t know was that Donna Grant is writing other series at the same time she is writing the  Dark Kings series. I figured it out when Eoghan and Thea from Dark Alpha’s Hunger were mentioned a few times in this book. As was the Light Elf Queen and the new Dark Elf King. Along with Rhi, Con, Ulrik, and Mikkel. Then a lightbulb went off over my head and I went “No, freaking way“. I am in awe that someone can do that. I have issues with keeping one thing straight in my head. So forget many series of books with many plotlines and characters.

I liked Sabina and Roman together. I will admit that at the beginning of the book, I was a little confused at who Sabina was supposed to be with. And yes, I didn’t read the blurb…lol. I thought it was going to be V for some reason. Because the book started off with the story that Sabina’s grandmother told about him. But once Roman and Sabina met, the sexual attraction and chemistry came off the pages. There was one point when they were in the caves, where I was chanting in my head “Kiss the girl. Kiss the girl” (and no, I didn’t sound like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid when I was saying it to myself).

When they finally did have sex, it was amazing. I will never look at hot springs in the same way again. What I liked, even more, was that the author didn’t let the sexual tension down. She kept it up. Which meant that the other sex scenes were amazing.

I also liked Sabina and Roman as people. They both had gone through some tough times. Sabina’s was losing her mother and stepfather and taking care of Camlo. She had to be strong and wary. Because of Camlo’s disability, she always needed to be on the defensive. Seeing her open up and trust Roman and V was powerful. Roman’s tough times were when he became Dragon King. When he told the story about how he became Dragon King and who he had to defeat, my heart broke for him. But, what made me like him, was his gentleness with Camlo.

I do wish that the author got more into Camlo and Sabina’s abilities. Sabina had the Sight. But what did that consist of? What could she see (other than people being dishonest)? I know that it came into play when she touched V in the cave but still, I would have loved a better explanation. Also, I would have loved a better explanation of Camlo’s abilities. I was also frustrated when it came to getting information out of him. I know that he had the mind of a child but man, that whole scene dragged out when Roman and Sabina were deep in the caverns. What other abilities did he have (other than talking to animals and the Sight)?

The plotline involving V and his sword was amazingly written. The author did a great job at keeping me guessing about where the sword was. Also the neat twist she put in that storyline, I liked. I wasn’t expecting it. But it did explain a whole bunch.

I also liked the storyline with Sabina and Roman’s journey to get the sword. Dangerous doesn’t even begin to describe it. And with the Others magic making it even more dangerous, my heart was in my throat during the entire journey. The end of that storyline had me in tears. But I forgot one thing. Only another Dragon King can kill a Dragon King.

The secondary storylines were good but man, they were vague. Take Con losing the weapon. That was a first for me. What was the weapon? It was something that Con and the other Dragon Kings feared. Because the “Oh Crap” factor went up when V and Roman got the message. The storyline with the Others infuriated me. Why were they doing what they did and how did they know what was going on it the future. Also, the book that Usaeil found in the hidden library. What is with that? And the very last chapter. I wanted to scream with frustration about that.

Like I mentioned above, I wanted to scream at the end of Dragonfire. But, I did like how the author ended or didn’t end the storylines. She ended Roman and Sabina’s happily and gave a hint about who her next book might be about. Which I can’t wait to read!!


I gave Dragonfire a 4-star rating. This was a well written 14th book in the Dark Kings series. I connected with the characters. The plotlines were well written with no lag or dropped storylines. I did wish that more explanation was given about Camlo and Sabina’s powers. And the end frustrated me. I enjoyed reading this book and cannot wait to read book 15.

I would give Dragonfire an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are no triggers. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

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


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Griffin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Dragonfire.

All opinions stated in this review of Dragonfire are mine.

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


 

Have you read Dragonfire?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · book review · Dragonfly Press · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · RABT Book Tours · Random House Publishing Group · Simon & Schuster · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: November 7th, 2018

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

So, I am still sick. I ended up losing my voice Friday and Saturday, much to the delight of my kids. While I got my voice back on Sunday, I am still feeling yucky. I swear I am going to start spraying my kids down with Lysol as soon as they walk through the door. Saturday, we went to the Muggle Market in Charlotte. Even though I couldn’t talk, I had a blast. There were so many authors/vendors there I didn’t know where to turn. Besides that, they had food trucks, a medieval weapons tournament (the guy with the bow was a bit of a jerk to my son) and an exotic animal rehabilitator. Miss R and Miss B held a crocodile. Miss R and Mr. Z held a tiny turtle. Miss R held a 90 lb boa constrictor. I swear, that girl has no fear…lol.

Reading:

So I am behind on reading again. While I did write reviews over the weekend, I didn’t feel like reading. I couldn’t think with my head feeling like it was full of cotton. I did read a couple of books on Monday and Tuesday. I am hoping that I can catch a couple of hours over the weekend so I can catch up on my reading. But, I am not seeing that happening. Too much going on. Bleh. I


What I am currently reading:

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?

I just started this book yesterday. When I mean started, I am on the second or third page. I am hoping that I like it. I liked Heat when I reviewed it. So we’ll see.


What I finished reading:

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Click on the picture for Amazon link

What if your past came back to haunt you and stalked the present until it became your worst nightmare? What would you do if you discovered you’re engaged to a murderous psychopath about to go serial? 

J.J. Hughes explores the lengths to which we will go, to keep the past from overshadowing the present and destroying the future. Spirit of Prophecy is a highly original, cutting edge, metaphysical crime mystery with a breathtaking paranormal twist.

Years ago, a terrible atrocity occurred in Apache Indian territory in New Mexico, and now the players take up their positions to execute a horrific revenge. If you liked A.G. Riddle’s The Atlantis Gene you’ll love this . 

Evil awakens, and Rosetta Barrett, a psychic detective, must settle old scores and heal ancient wounds. She has the highest international security clearance with the Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services [EPIS], but she can’t tell her family or the courts what she really does. Divorce was hell. She lost custody of her children because of her paranormal beliefs, and now she’s fighting to get them back. 

Prominent American event rider, Juliet Jermaine, loses her Olympic horse, Gothic, and his rider, Isabella, also dies in a horrific unprovoked road rage attack. Barrett is investigating Isabella’s murder. She has a suspect but gathering sufficient evidence to nail a conviction is proving elusive. 

If Rosetta fails to convict the criminal and end the horrific cycle of revenge and retribution, the past is set to explode into the present with dire and explosive consequences.

Time is running out…

Read Spirit of Prophecy and get onboard a metaphysical rollercoaster from the future to the past and back!

Visit the author’s website and get to know J.J. Hughes and her work.
www.moneymagnet.global/booksbyjjhughes

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. The author did a fantastic job with interweaving the metaphysical, paranormal and mystery together. Also, I loved that her characters were flawed. My review is here.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

Maddie’s teenage crush humiliated her fifteen years ago. Now Quinn runs the Otter Tail pub that Maddie inherited and needs to sell. Too bad Maddie’s high school crush on Quinn is still alive and kicking. 

Quinn wants to buy the pub, but can’t afford Maddie’s price, so he plays dirty. His smile, bright blue eyes, and broad shoulders are just his initial bid. As they get reacquainted, they realize someone else has plans for the pub. Plans that endanger Maddie and Quinn – and the rest of Otter Tail. 

Can Maddie and Quinn save the pub? Can they put their past behind to create a future together?

I have reviewed Margaret Watson’s books before and she is a solid romance author. So, I am pretty excited to read this book!!

Dragon's Shadow

Royal twins ripped apart at birth become reluctant champions of good and evil.

Kylie, a teenage science geek, has no faith in people. Instead, she relies on what she trusts the most, the facts––what she can see, touch, and hear but never feel. With enough pain to deal with in her own world, she is thrust into another––a kingdom at war whose strange inhabitants fear one thing the most––the return of the dragon. All of this is illogical to Kylie, but even more so, when she discovers she belongs there. 

Her brother, Prince Jarlon, journeys to kill the dragon who has laid waste to his kingdom. His only hope for destroying the beast is help from his sister, whom he has never met. Will their paths cross before the beast’s malevolence infects Kylie and turns her into his creature or will Jarlon have to destroy her, too?

The blurb of this book made me accept it when RABT Book Tour’s approached me to review it. I am hoping that its good.

You Are The Everything

Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny? Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. And when the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what is left?

The blurb reeled me in for this book. It seems like it will be a full box of Kleenex book. Another book that I am eagerly waiting to read.

Exposed Fury

Annie Fitch, a former police detective, struggles to make ends meet as a private investigator in the sleepy town of Leesburg, Virginia. On partial disability because of gunshot injuries, she’s relegated to doing surveillance gigs and background checks. But things are looking up, since her on-again, off-again relationship is back on and might stay that way. 

When Annie is hired by Laura Carlton to follow her husband to get evidence of cheating, Annie is certain the case won’t take long. Nick Carlton grew up with money and privilege and has a sex addiction dating back to his high school days. But things go sideways when Annie finds her target dead in an alley just a few blocks from her own home. 

Working with her former partner, Gunnar Jansson, Annie digs deeper into Carlton’s background, slowly excavating his past to reveal the multiple suspects and motives. The list includes his many lunch-hour-tryst partners, a local shop owner, and his business partner, among others. Layer by layer, Annie uncovers a truth that runs much deeper than anyone expected. 

This book was an instant yes when the author approached me to review it. I was drawn in by the blurb. I am hoping that this book is as good as I think it is.

Sleepover

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.
 
The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .

Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?

Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . .

Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while. I kept pushing it back due to me overscheduling myself. Now, no more pushing back. I can’t wait to read it. I have read and reviewed books by Serena Bell before. I have generally liked them. So, I have high hopes for this one.

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown, an explosive prequel about a teenager who learns of a mysterious research facility where over three hundred people have disappeared—including her uncle—with clues that become the key to discovering the secrets of this strange town.

On a seemingly ordinary day, seventeen-year-old Lia Haddock hears news that will change her life forever: three hundred men, women, and children living at a research facility in Limetown, Tennessee, have disappeared without a trace. Among the missing is Emile Haddock, Lia’s uncle. 

What happened to the people of Limetown? It’s all anyone can talk about. Except Lia’s parents, who refuse to discuss what might have happened there. They refuse, even, to discuss anything to do with Emile.

As a student journalist, Lia begins an investigation that will take her far from her home, discovering clues about Emile’s past that lead to a shocking secret—one with unimaginable implications not only for the people of Limetown, but for Lia and her family. The only problem is…she’s not the only one looking for answers. 

Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie are first-rate storytellers, in every medium. Critics called their podcast Limetown “creepy and otherworldly” (The New York Times) and “endlessly fun” (Vox), and their novel goes back to where it all began. Working with Cote Smith, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize Finalist, they’ve crafted an exhilarating mystery that asks big questions about what we owe to our families and what we owe to ourselves, about loss, discovery, and growth. Threaded throughout is Emile’s story—told in these pages for the first time ever. 

I was intrigued by the plot for this book. It has made me look up the podcast and I am toying with listening to it. Just to get some background information for the story. Again, another book I am looking forward to reading.

What About Us (Panic, #4)

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Don’t miss Sidney Halston’s Panic series:
PULL ME CLOSE | MAKE ME STAY | KISS ME BACK | WHAT ABOUT US

I have read the first three books in the series and for the most part, enjoyed them. So when I saw that Sidney Halston had written a 4th book, I jumped on it. I can’t wait to read it!!


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

Blog Tour/Reread: First Grave on the Right and Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson: Books 1 and 13) by Darynda Jones

 

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: February 1st, 2011

Genre: Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy

Where you can find First Grave on the Right: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has followed her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to the paranormal suspense of the highest order.

My Reread review:

You can find the original review here.

I was pretty excited when I got invited to the Summoned to Thirteenth Grave blog tour. I was even more excited when I saw that the invite included a reread of my favorite Charley Davidson book. It was a no-brainer that I picked the book that started me into this series, First Grave on the Right.

Reading First Grave on the Right again reminded me about how much I enjoyed this book. The plotline flowed nicely and the characters were relatable. This book set the tone for the rest of the book. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to read the Charley Davidson series.


Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Where you can find Summoned to Thirteenth Grave: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Mystery, Fantasy

Series: Charley Davidson

First Grave on the Right: Book 1 (review here)

For I Have Sinned—Book 1.5

Second Grave on the Left—Book 2

Third Grave Dead Ahead—Book 3

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet—Book 4

Fifth Grave Past the Light—-Book 5

Shimmer—Book 5.5

Glow—Book 5.6

Sixth Grave on the Edge—Book 6

Seventh Grave and No Body—Book 7

Eighth Grave After Dark—Book 8

Brighter Than the Sun—Book 8.5

The Dirt on Ninth Grave—Book 9

The Curse of Tenth Grave—Book 10

A Very Charley Christmas—Book 10.5

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight—Book 11

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave—Book 12 (review here)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave—Book 13

Where you can find Summoned to Thirteenth Grave: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series!

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person stark-raving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently, it is. Bummer.

She’s missed Reyes and her daughter, Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

My review:

Excerpt:

1
What, pray tell, the
fuck?
—T-shirt

It wasn’t until I felt the sun on my face that I knew, really knew, I’d
made it back. The bright orb drifted over the horizon like a hot
air balloon, blinding me, yet I couldn’t stop looking at it. Or, well,
trying to look at it. After giving it my all through squinted lids, I
gave up and closed them. Let the warmth wash over me. Let it
sink into my skin. Flood every molecule in my body.
God knew I needed it. I hadn’t had a drop of vitamin D in over
a hundred years. My bones were probably brittle and shriveled
and splintery. Much like the current state of my psyche.
But that’s what happens when you defy a god.
Not just any god, mind you. No siree Bob. To get booted off the
big blue marble, one had to defy the God. The very One a
particular set of children’s books called Jehovahn.
The Man had some serious control issues. I bring one person
back from the dead and bam. Banished for all eternity. Exiled to
a hell with no light, no hair products, and no coffee.
Mostly no coffee.


Summoned to Thirteenth Grave is the last book in the Charley Davidson series. After the events of the last book, Charley had been banished from the earthly plain for all eternity. But, she is unbanished after 100 years. The reason? Reyes unwittingly started a zombie apocalypse. It is up to Charley to stop the apocalypse. Somehow, the death of her mother is tied to what is happening. If she can find out what happened to her mother, then she finds the cure. But there is a catch. Charley has only 3 days to make this happen. With the help of Reyes and her motley crew of living and dead friends, can Charley do it? Can Charley stop the apocalypse?

Charley rocked in this book. She was as funny and as snarky as she was in the earlier books. I was dying laughing at her one-liners. I loved that she was willing to do anything to keep Beep safe. Her investigation into the cure for the zombie apocalypse was action-packed. But the thing I liked the most was that she cherished her friendships. And that is what I am going to miss the most from this series.

The main plotline is Charley trying to figure out who killed her mother. The author did a great job at throwing out hints throughout the book. When it came time to reveal what happened, I was shocked. Not only at what happened but at who was there. Also who or what that person turned out to be. Talk about a huge surprise. I was in shock because there was zero lead up to what was revealed. When the storyline was resolved, it brought a tear to my eye. Because of how it was resolved and who gave Charley the final insight into what happened.

The plotline about the zombie apocalypse was interesting. I thought it was interesting that Reyes involuntarily started it.  The reason why he started it was interesting too. I did like where the author took this storyline. There were things revealed that made me go “Whaaat“. Like what was causing the people to turn. Or who Thaniel was. That made me go “Whaaaaat” and brought a small tear to my eye. I liked how the storyline was resolved.

I will say that the secondary characters were awesome. Each character had their own personality and brought that extra “oomph” to the story.

I also liked the secondary storylines. There was one that was ripped right from the headlines. My heart hurt for that woman and her daughter. It also hurt for Meiko. I will say that I was happy with what happened to them at the end of the book. Also, that man and his mother got what they deserved. Of course, the identity of the man was a surprise also. Was not expecting that twist.

I gotta say that Reyes and Charley burnt up the pages. They had unbelievable hot sex. I mean, they turned the sand to glass. Is that hot enough? I liked that while they were having hot monkey sex, it wasn’t explicit. Enough was left unsaid so that I needed to use my imagination. Loved it!!

The end of the book was AMAZING!!! The author did a great job at wrapping up all of the plotlines. I will warn you guys that there are times where you are going to need tissues. I was bawling. I did have a feeling about a spin-off book. The very last line made me go “Hmmmm“. Made me wonder.


I gave Summoned to Thirteenth Grave a 4-star rating. This was a fast read. The characters were well written. The plotlines were engaging and kept me focused on the book. I will admit, I wasn’t expecting the twists that happened. I cried. But, overall, this was a great book and I am sad that the series is ending.

I would give Summoned to Thirteenth Grave an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would suggest the no one under the age of 21 read this book.

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


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Summoned to Thirteenth Grave.

All opinions stated in this review of Summoned to Thirteenth Grave are mine.

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


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York
Times bestselling paranormal series!
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plane for
eternity—which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But
someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too
much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently, it is. Bummer.
She’s missed her daughter. She’s missed Reyes. She’s missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. Now
that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to
her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a
broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and
hilarious novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a Golden Heart and a RITA for
her manuscript First Grave on the Right. A born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing
damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast
alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two
beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.
BUY LINK:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250149411

DARYNDA’S SOCIAL LINKS:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Darynda
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darynda.jones.official
Website: http://www.daryndajones.com/
SMP Romance Twitter: https://twitter.com/heroesnhearts & https://twitter.com/SMPRomance
SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/


A FUN FACT FOR EACH OF THE CHARLEY BOOKS:

First Grave on the Right

 The concept for First Grave came about while Darynda was working as a sign
language interpreter in her hometown. She stole many of the names from students
at the schools where she worked, including Reyes, Garrett, and Amber. As far as
Darynda knows they have all forgiven her for her thievery.

Second Grave on the Left

 Uncle Bob is a combination of two people: Darynda’s oldest brother, Luther, and
the principal at the high school where she worked for several years.

Third Grave Dead Ahead

 This was originally titled Third Grave Straight Ahead, but Darynda’s web
designer, Liz Bemis, asked her to change the name to Dead Ahead. Firstly, it fit
the content better, and secondly, Liz got tired of spelling the word Straight wrong
while updating the website. Dead is much easier to type.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

 Quentin Rutherford makes his first appearance in this book. While his first name
was stolen from Darynda’s little brother and his last name stolen from yet another
Jr. High student, Quentin is physically sculpted from her oldest son, Jerrdan, a
bona fide blond-haired, blue-eyed devil with a sparkling smile that melts even the
staunchest of hearts. And, like Quentin Rutherford, he was born Deaf. Not that he
let it stop him for a second.

Fifth Grave Past the Light

 This book was fun to write! Darynda was trying to come up with something truly
creepy to throw into the book, and she figured what would be creepier than
having an apartment full of departed women crawling up the walls, skittering
across the ceiling, and huddling in the corners? Also, it is one of the hotter books,
so that was fun, too. Because, you know, Reyes.

Sixth Grave on the Edge

 Darynda really wanted to open this one on a humorous note. She wanted to have
Charley on a stakeout with a departed elderly man, who also happens to be naked,
riding shotgun. Which begs the question: Are we really stuck in (or out of)
whatever we are wearing when we die for all eternity? ‘Cause that would suck.

Seventh Grave and No Body

 Osh’ekiel was originally supposed to be in one book only. And he was supposed
to be a very bad guy. But Darynda fell in love with him while writing the book
and decided to redeem him and give him a bigger role. Just how big his role
would become didn’t come to Darynda until plotting Eighth Grave. He has been
one of her favorite characters since she wrote that first scene with him.

Eighth Grave After Dark

 Darynda wanted to really turn the tables on Charley and force her to have to stay
in one place, thus the sacred ground of the convent came into play. It was fun and
challenging to write a “locked room” mystery, so to speak, but that’s why she
loves writing so much.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave

 One of Darynda’s favorite books in the series, she looked forward to writing this
book ever since she came up with the concept while plotting Sixth Grave. Part of
what makes a romance so fun is the falling-in-love part, and she wanted Charley
to fall in love with Reyes all over again. This book was doubly fun because the
audience knows all the characters’ backstories, and they get to watch in
anticipation as Charley slowly unravels the mysteries of her past, while seeing her
fall head-over-heels for the same guy all over again.

The Curse of Tenth Grave

 This book had one of those too-close-for-comfort calls. Right before Tenth Grave
went to print, after going through editors and copyeditors and readers of all shapes
and sizes, a savvy proofreader let Darynda in on a little secret: A Sherpa is part of
a culture, not an occupation. Thanks to this razor-sharp reader, Darynda narrowly
escaped insulting an entire culture in one fell swoop. Aka, her worst nightmare.
Her gratitude is unending.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

 Darynda dreamed of going to Scotland for so long, she finally decided to just put
it in one of her books. She had Charley accidentally materialize in the magical
country, only to find out weeks after finishing the book that she would finally get
to go there herself. In person. For realsies. It was even more magical than she’d
imagined it would be, and she can’t wait to go back.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave

 This book has one of Darynda’s favorite epiphanies EVER!!! She thought, what if
someone out there in the universe, a child perhaps, knows everything about Reyes
and Charley? Everything starting from their supernatural heritage to their human
identities? And what if that person wrote a book about them? Or a series of
books? Say, perhaps, a set of children’s books and Garrett just happens to stumble
upon them while doing research? How fun would that be? And the international
bestselling children’s book (fictionally speaking) The First Star was born.

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

 By far the hardest story in the series to write, penning the last Charley book was a
bittersweet experience. But Darynda knew she had to go big or go home, so what
better way to go out with a bang than to end the world as we know it by starting
the zombie apocalypse? Because that’s what writers do. We start apocalypses.

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · book review · Forever · Independent Book Publisher's Association · Loveswept · Member's Titles · NetGalley · Polis Books · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up: October 28th through November 3rd 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Black Diamond Fall

The Storyteller's Throne

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Wizard’s Gift—review here

The Wizard's Gift by Michael Waller

Black Diamond Fall—review here

Black Diamond Fall

Kiss Me at Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review here

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

The Storyteller’s Throne—review here

The Storyteller's Throne

The Rain Watcher—review here

The Rain Watcher

A Nanny for Harry—review here

A Nanny for Harry

Stripped Down—review here

Stripped Down

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

The Night Before

You Are The Everything

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Deadly Cage—Tom Howard (No Amazon/Email page yet)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

 Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · NetGalley · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

Blog Tour + Excerpt: First Earl I See Tonight (Debutante Diaries: Book 1) by Anna Bennett

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: October 30th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Debutante Diaries

First Earl I See Tonight—Book 1

The Duke is But a Dream—Book 2 (expected publication date: July 30th, 2019)

Where you can find First Earl I See Tonight:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars… 

Recently jilted by his fiancée, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…

A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love their final destiny?


Excerpt:

“Lord Ravenport,” Lady Callahan intoned, closing
her fan with an expert flick of the wrist. “Please, allow
me to present my daughter Miss Sophie Kendall and her
friends Miss Fiona Hartley and Miss Lily Hartley.”
Gray exchanged the expected pleasantries, then turned
to Fiona. A halo of loose curls crowned her head, and she
worried her plump bottom lip. Her pink gown exposed the
long column of her neck and the curve of her shoulders;
he could almost see her pulse beating wildly at the base
of her throat.
His instincts screamed for him to run right out of the
ballroom, and yet his boots remained rooted to the floor.
Worse, before he knew what he was doing he’d asked her
to dance.
“It would be my pleasure,” she stammered, taking his
arm.
As he led her to the dance floor he questioned his own
good judgment—and not for the first time that day. He’d
saw Miss Hartley trip and tumble into the orchestra
at the Millbrook ball. He’d been dancing with Helena at
the time but had paused to help her up.
So much had changed since then.
He had no idea if Miss Hartley’s dance partner had been
to blame for the incident or whether she was prone to

16 A N NA BEN NE T T
falling, but just to be safe he tightened his hand on her
waist. And they began moving to the music.
The first measure had barely played before she asked,
“You received my letter?”
“I did,” he said noncommittally, twirling her beneath
his raised arm.
When she faced him again, she looked him directly in
the eye. “What do you think of my . . . offer?” she asked,
her voice cracking on the final word.
He tamped down an unexpected pang of sympathy. “I
think that we hardly know each other.”
“True, but that is easily rectified, is it not?” There it
was—an unmistakable hint of desperation. And a sense of
urgency that even her letter hadn’t conveyed.
“It is,” he conceded. “However, I suspect that the more
we know each other, the less we’ll like each other.” Cynical
but true in his experience. His parents certainly hadn’t
grown fonder of each other. Neither had he and Helena.
She winced and looked away before regaining her
composure. “Perhaps. But we needn’t like each other.”
Gray chuckled at that. “I never thought I’d meet some­
one more jaded than I.”
“So, you’ll consider my offer?” she pressed.
“I will not,” he said firmly. Under different circum­
stances, her fortune may have tempted him. But she was
clearly intent on using him for her own purpose—and he
suspected that she’d set her sights on him for reasons be­
yond his title. After all, there were half a dozen peers in
attendance now who’d leap at the chance to marry a
young and unconventionally beautiful heiress.
But he was not one of them.
“It seems rather closed­minded of you to dismiss me
summarily,” she shot back, displaying a boldness that was
borderline rude—and refreshing.

F IR ST EA R L I SEE TON IGH T 17
“If I said I’d consider your offer, I’d only be giving you
false hope. Delaying the inevitable.”
“The inevitable rejection, you mean,” she clarified.
“Yes.” He was still reeling from the sting of Helena’s
rebuff and wouldn’t wish anyone that sort of pain and
humiliation.
“Please,” she begged. “I realize that it’s highly unusual
for a woman to propose marriage—”
“It’s unheard of.”
“Surely you must be curious—as to why I did it.” She
looked up at him, her shining blue eyes challenging him
to deny the truth of her words.
Gray shrugged. “You have your reasons for making the
offer; I have my reasons for declining it.”
“Give me the opportunity to explain,” she pleaded. “Just
a quarter of an hour to make my case. If, after that, you
remain unconvinced, I promise I shan’t mention it again.”
He must be out of his damned mind to consider engag­
ing in further discussion with Miss Hartley. The very last
thing he needed was another conniving, self­serving fe­
male attempting to interfere with his life. He had opened
his mouth to tell her so when someone bumped into his
back—hard.
Gray’s torso collided with Miss Hartley’s chest, and she
stumbled two steps before he wrapped an arm around her
slender waist, catching her just before she landed on the
parquet floor. She gasped and clung to his jacket, her ex­
pression an odd mix of relief and mortification.
“Oh dear,” she breathed.
Their faces were so close he could see unexpected dark
blue flecks in her irises and the individual freckles dotting
her nose. “Forgive me,” he said.
“For what?”
For what indeed? Steering her into the collision? Grip­

16 A N NA BEN NE T T
ping her waist too tightly? Or for staring at the swells of
her breasts and having decidedly wicked thoughts while
he should have shielded her from further embar­
rassment? Ignoring her question, he asked, “Are you all
right?”
“I am.” Her cheeks turned a charming shade of pink.
She blew out a breath and shot him a shaky smile. “When
it comes to dance floor mishaps, I confess I’ve survived
much worse.”
Gray looked over his shoulder to see how the other
couple fared, surprised to find Helena and her dance part­
ner smiling apologetically.
And the truth struck him. For the last ten minutes, while
he’d been dancing with Miss Hartley, he’d been completely,
blissfully unaware of Helena and what she was doing. Even
more remarkable, he’d forgotten that she was in the room.
“Meet me in Hyde Park tomorrow,” he said to Miss
Hartley, mentally cursing his own weakness. “I will listen
to what you have to say, but don’t expect anything to
change my mind.”
The corners of her mouth curled in a triumphant smile.
“Thank you. All I ask is that you allow me the chance to
explain the advantages of the arrangement—for us both.”
“Forgive me if I remain skeptical,” he drawled. “I’ll
meet you near the footbridge. Three o’clock?”
“You won’t regret this,” she said earnestly, but the prick­
ling sensation between his shoulder blades suggested
he would. In spite of her naïveté and candor—or maybe
because of those things—Miss Hartley could prove far
more dangerous to him than Helena had ever been.


About the Author:

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written
in the stars, in First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett.
Recently jilted by his fiancée, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have
his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a
headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate
will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…
A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining
her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance
will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her
genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love
their final destiny?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided that
books with balls, dukes, and gowns were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in
London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She
dreamed of writing romance but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.
Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she
loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her
husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes when she quotes Jane Austen.
Anna’s books include of the Wayward Wallflowers series and the Debutante Diaries series.

BUY THE BOOK:
https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/historical/first-earl-i-see-tonight/

SOCIAL LINKS:
Anna’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/_AnnaBennett
Anna’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaBennettAuthor/
Anna’s Website: http://annabennettauthor.com/
SMP Romance Twitter: https://twitter.com/heroesnhearts & https://twitter.com/SMPRomance
SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/


My Review:

I am not going to go into my entire spiel about how much I love historical romances. Because you all have heard it before and I don’t want to bore you. I will say that I was becoming bored with historical romances. As well written as some might be, they all seemed to follow 1 of 2 formats. You have the plucky heroine who gets in over her head and the alpha male hero rescues her. Or, the hero is tortured over something that happened in his past and the heroine heals him. While First Earl I See Tonight does have a tortured hero, that is the only part of the plot that was predictable.

First Earl I See Tonight is about Fiona Hartley. Fiona had received a note from a blackmailer demanding money by a certain date. If he/she didn’t receive that money, an article would be published in a prominent newspaper about her younger sister, Lily. The blackmailer claimed to have evidence that Lily was the illegitimate daughter of a well-known madame. If that came out,  Lily would be shunned by the ton and her chances for a good marriage would be over. Desperate to avoid that, Fiona writes a note to the Earl of Ravenport, asking him to marry her and outlining why they would have a good union. Gray, having been dumped by his fiancée, is amused and shocked by the note. Determined to scare her off, he invites her to his crumbling country manor house, The Fortress. Instead of scaring her off, it charms Fiona. Gray realizes that there is so much more to Fiona than what he thought. But he cannot love. A traumatic event when he was a child had forced him to seal that part of him off. Can he open up and let Fiona into his heart? And will Fiona find out who the blackmailer is? Can she trust Gray enough to let him know what-is going on? Will she have to let true love go to protect her sister’s reputation? Read the book.

I loved the cover of First Earl I See Tonight. It encompassed everything that was going on in the book, except the blackmail. The model looked exactly as I thought Fiona would look. I loved that The Fortress was in the background. And the diary was there, along with Fiona’s deceased mother’s necklace. Loved it!!!!

I loved Fiona. For a girl of her time, she was very forward. I mean, she wrote to Gray, asking him to marry her. That is unheard of for her era. Girls did not do that. And it was so freaking refreshing and new!! I had menioned above that I was getting bored with reading historical romances. This book pulled me back from the edge of not reading them. I loved her argument for making her case and her reaction to Gray asking if she was with child. I laughed out loud at that. Fiona was not graceful either. I mean, she met Gray by falling into the orchestra playing at a party. She was also loyal to her family. She would do anything to keep Lily’s parentage out of the papers and save her from becoming shunned. Her only fault was that she should have told Gray sooner than she did about the blackmailer.

I liked Gray. I will admit, I did laugh when I read his response to Fiona’s request. I would have noped the heck out of there. Burned the note and not looked back. But, he was intrigued by it. Which is why he visited her at her home and questioned her the way he did. Which was hilarious because of Fiona’s responses. I liked his plan to scare her into not wanting to marry him by inviting her to The Fortress. That blew up in his face, big time. It was her way of seeing the beauty in everything that sent him down that slippery slope to love. Because he kept his emotions shuttered, I wasn’t sure about his feelings for Fiona until they had sex. What cemented it for me was when he read that sweet but awful poem at the ball. While it was bad, it was so sweet. I cried when he told Fiona about his family and why he felt he couldn’t love. I wasn’t expecting what he told her. I was sobbing because, man, he was only 11. Which is my son’s age. He was a baby. Being exposed to that broke my heart for him.

I have had issues in romances where there is zero romance. That there is no build-up to the sexual relationship. Whelp had no issues with that here!! Gray and Fiona had a friendship that evolved into a relationship before they fell in love. Loved it. It made the sex scenes so much more juicer to read knowing that.

Let’s talk about sexual tension. OMG, it was insane. All Gray had to do was look at Fiona and bam, it was there. I did like that the author did attempt to hold them off from having sex. She had them do everything but sex. But, it was meant to be and it was fantastic. They were like bunnies. In a cottage, In a lake, In a closet (I sound like Dr. Seuss…lol). I did wonder how people didn’t know what was going on.

I was surprised at who the blackmailer was. It was a twist that I didn’t see coming. But, what I also didn’t see coming was that person threatening Gray. Which set off a series of events that made me both mad and sad. What also made me mad were the reasons why this person decided to blackmail Fiona. Man, talk about petty. I did like that Gray ended up getting the last word in, though. “My hero” did go through my head.

The end of the book was fantastic. All the storylines were ended in a way that satisfied me as a reader. I cannot wait to read book 2.

What I liked about First Earl I See Tonight:

  1. Fiona
  2. Gray
  3. The storyline

What I disliked about First Earl I See Tonight:

  1. Fiona not telling Gray about the blackmailer
  2. Why the blackmailer chose Fiona
  3. What happened to Gray when he was a child

I gave First Earl I See Tonight a 4-star rating. This was a well written, humorous book was an engaging storyline. I connected with the characters. I did not like who the blackmailer ended up being and that person’s reason for choosing Fiona.

I would give First Earl I See Tonight an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is mild violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread First Earl I See Tonight. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review First Earl I See Tonight.

All opinions stated in this review of First Earl I See Tonight are mine.

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