How To Train Your Earl (First Comes Love: Book 3) by Amelia Grey

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
How To Train Your Earl by Amelia Grey

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

Date of publication: April 27th, 2021

Genre: Romance

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Alibris | Powells | IndieBound | Indigo

Format read: Unedited ARC

Got book from: Saint Martin’s Press

Trigger Warnings: Grief


Goodreads Synopsis:

A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true? 


First Line:

Brina Feld should have known a lady wasn’t safe from rakes, rogues, and scoundrels at a masked ball in Paris.

How to train your earl by amelia grey

Review:

I was excited to read How to Train Your Earl. I had read the first book in the series and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I did miss the second book but figured that I didn’t need to read it (I was right). So, I jumped right into reading this book.

From the beginning, the flow of How to Train Your Earl was great. The chapters were well organized, and I could tell when the author shifted from one person to another (mainly Zane and Brina). That made it pleasurable to read the book.

The plotline for How to Train Your Earl was medium paced. There was some build-up at the beginning of the book, plateauing in the middle and then having a gradual wrap up towards the end of the book. Again, it was perfect for the book.

I wasn’t a massive fan of the storyline. Something about a woman forcing a man to do what she wanted (and vice versa) made me go, “eh. “ I did like the secondary plotlines with Brina’s cousin/Zane’s cousin and the gambling. It added a bit of zip to the plotline.

I was not too fond of Brina. During various points in the book, I found her to be controlling, immature, unwilling to bend, and naive. She was passive-aggressive too. Looking back on the book, I still don’t know what Zane saw in her, other than she saved him and he needed a wife. She was also almost too independent for the era. Some of the things she did with Zane were appropriate for the period. But others (having him in her house alone, hosting a dinner at his home were two) were borderline “eh. “ I also wish that there were some flashback to when she was grieving over her husband’s death. She kept saying how badly she hurt and how long it took for her to recover.

I felt terrible for Zane. He inherited the earldom when his cousins died. On top of that, his family had treated him terribly growing up, and they expected him to be OK with them acting like he was the best thing since sliced bread. So, I understood why he latched onto Brina when he saw her, and I understood why he agreed to her ridiculous rules. It was nice to see his character grow throughout the book. I liked who he became.

As much as I didn’t like Zane and Brina together, they had chemistry. Their attraction zinged off the pages, and when they finally ended up in bed, it was terrific.

The secondary storyline involving Brina and Zane’s cousins was interesting. It added a little extra oomph to the story. It also set up, I think, for the next book in the series.

The end of How to Train Your Earl was interesting. Mainly because of how Brina acted. I won’t get into it, but I had my mouth opened the entire time during that scene with Zane. She didn’t let him get a word in edgewise. Of course, this being a romance, there is a HEA, but man, I don’t know. I don’t think that they could have a HEA in real life.


How to Train Your Earl was an OK romance. The plotline and pacing of the book were good. The flow of the book was fantastic. But there were things that I didn’t like. I was not too fond of the characters, which is a massive thing for me. The characters make or break a book. There was great sexual chemistry up to when they had sex. Then it went away.

I would recommend How to Train Your Earl to anyone over 21. There are sexual situations in the book with slightly graphic sex. There is some mild violence along with some gambling scenes.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


What I am Reading Now:

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Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

I am struggling with reading this book and I am considering DNF’ing it. I am a little disappointed because I have read so many great reviews on My Dark Vanessa. So, I am going to give it one more try. If I can’t read more than a couple of pages tonight, then I am returning it to the library.


What I plan on reading this week:

With Miss R and Miss B being back in school 4 days a week, I am hoping to up my reading game by 100%. The books I plan to read this week are pretty much set but I do have two Anne Bishop books that should be coming off hold this week (the start of The Others series). If/When that happens, then they get priority over the books on the list.

Book Cover
For decades, people have been warned about the Cold Creek Highway. Hitchhikers have vanished along it over the years, and women have been known to have their cars break down… and never be seen again. When Hailey McBride decides to run away from an unbearable living situation, she thinks that her outdoor skills will help her disappear into the Cold Creek wilderness, and she counts on people thinking that she was the victim of the killer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek to attend a memorial for the victims of the highway, but it might as well be one week for the amount of pain that Beth is still dealing with after her sister, Amber, was murdered the previous summer. Beth has quit university, is lying to her parents, and popping pills like Tic Tacs. Maybe this will finally bring her peace.

When she gets a job at a local diner where Amber once worked, she connects with people who knew her sister. Beth wants to find who killed her sister and put her own life back together, but as she gets closer to the truth, she learns that there is more than one person lying in Cold Creek.
Book Cover
Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all?

The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind–until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.

Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride?
Book Cover
Ten thousand years ago, a mysterious race that we only know as the Overseers took primitive humans and scattered them on dozens of worlds across the galaxy. Now, some of those people have found their way back to Earth. A young Justice Keeper named Anna Lenai has tracked a criminal through unexplored regions of space in the hopes of recovering a symbiont that grants its host the ability to bend space and time. Her search leads her to Earth, where she befriends a young man named Jack Hunter. Together, they will face enemies with advanced technology as they struggle to recover the symbiont before its power falls into the wrong hands.
Book Cover
What to do when your crush turns out to be a monster (and other such problems).

Just when correctional nurse October Grace has a handle on her stressful job and taking care of her mentally ill mother, a shapeshifting warrior and a half-vampire plunge her into a foreign land that’s on the brink of starvation. Now, with a ticking clock and a target on her back, October takes up the mantle of becoming one of the rare Omens who can bring hope to a dying world.
Mason and Von remain by her side to shield the national treasure while she sacrifices herself to reap the souls that will feed the nations of Terraway. As the death toll rises daily, October finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat world where fairytale creatures run wild… and every day is a new bloody battle.

WWW Wednesday: April 7th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

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


Personal:

It looks like my infection is gone. The medication that the Dr prescribed to me is working (knock on wood). So I am doing a cautious yay!!

Miss R got braces on her upper teeth last week. I have had a lot of people (in real life) question why I chose braces at 7. Here’s my answer: When she got her teeth pulled back in August (she had two extra teeth that needed to come out), the oral surgeon pulled 7 extra teeth. When her orthodontist found out, he was upset because the oral surgeon didn’t consult him before hand. The result of the extra teeth being pulled was her adult teeth shifted on top. She had a huge gap and a top tooth that was coming in sideways. Plus, the way the teeth shifted, her other adult teeth couldn’t come through. So, she needed to get braces to A) turn the sideways tooth and B ) push together the teeth and to make room so her other teeth can come in. She will only have them on for 6 months but still. If the oral surgeon just pulled the teeth that he was supposed to, then this mess wouldn’t have happened.

Miss B got selected to join The Beta Club. I am so proud of her. For those of you who are new to the blog, Miss B has ADHD, GAD, and a non specific math learning disability. When we moved, Miss B was found to have a kindergarten math level in 4th grade. Thanks to a school with a great special ed program (they call it Exception Children here) and teachers that were willing to help (unlike her previous school), she is almost up to grade level. She is super excited (as is her EC teacher) and there is an induction ceremony in a couple of weeks. If she keeps her grades up, she gets to wear a special cord with her graduation gown. So, yes, I am very proud of her!!

There is nothing new going on with Mr. Z. He’s not going back to school next week (I gave him the choice) and he is pretty pumped to be doing his school work without interruptions from his sisters.

I have gotten sucked into the world of The Magicians. I am at the end of Season 1 (there are 4 seasons) and am in shock. Unfortunately, I will not be watching it until next week (when BK is traveling for work). I also have been watching a lot of YouTube with Miss R. She watches this one YouTuber, Gloom, who is freaking hilarious. She is among the very few YouTubers that I can watch without wanting to poke my eardrums out.

I made Slow Cooker French Onion Chicken last night. It was eh. The chicken was dry (it almost always is when I cook chicken in the crockpot). But the taste was fantastic!! I will not be making this again. Dry chicken doesn’t do it for me when I eat.

Blog

I did nothing to my blog last week. Nada. I wasn’t feeling it (plus, I got busy). I plan on doing more work on it this year.

Reading

I actually got through 95% of the books from last weeks WWW. I surprised myself with that. I also had one book come off hold from the library, with 2 more looking like they will come off within the next couple of weeks.


What I Recently Finished Reading:

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It’s been 20 long years since a night of horror where Detective Jess Antler’s 10-year-old brother Billy was abducted. Despite Jess seeing the intruder face to face, neither he or her brother were ever found. After enduring a terrifying adolescence at the hands of her abusive Aunt, Jess has learnt to push away her feelings about her brother, and her drive to find him.

As everyone says, Billy’s never coming back. It’s time to move on.

However after uncovering Billy’s secret diary, Jess begins to unravel the mystery further and discovers shocking truths about her family and what Billy was really mixed up in.

This book was OK until the last chapters. Then it did a total 180 (that didn’t make sense). I was left with a WTH feeling after reading it.


What I am currently reading:

Book Cover
Cursed with the ability to weave thread into gold, Brie has learned to trust no one. Her parents keep her around so they can gamble their money away and now her boyfriend’s only staying because he’s got a collection of game systems to grow.

When Brie grabs the attention of Stilt, the new guy in town, it changes everything. Brie is a Legend—a character in a fairytale—and she belongs in a realm of magic called Fable. But when she crosses over to the new world with Stilt, she soon learns that the cruel ruler of the realm has taken an interest in her ability-and it could cost Brie her life.

Stilt promises that he can help her escape, but in return, he asks for something that she might not be able to give. Can Brie put her trust in Stilt or will she die at the hands of greed?

I am enjoying this book. What I am enjoying is that this isn’t your typical fairytale retelling. It is a darker retelling (much darker than the original one). I can’t wait to see what Fable has in store for Brie. I also can’t wait to see if Brie takes her own destiny in her hands.


What books I think I’ll read next:

The first two books, I will definitely read. One is a library book and the other an ARC that I need to read. I am iffy about the other 4 books. I have 2 books that are on hold at the library that could come off hold. If that happens, then I will read those first.

Book Cover
Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?


Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.
Book Cover
For decades, people have been warned about the Cold Creek Highway. Hitchhikers have vanished along it over the years, and women have been known to have their cars break down… and never be seen again. When Hailey McBride decides to run away from an unbearable living situation, she thinks that her outdoor skills will help her disappear into the Cold Creek wilderness, and she counts on people thinking that she was the victim of the killer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek to attend a memorial for the victims of the highway, but it might as well be one week for the amount of pain that Beth is still dealing with after her sister, Amber, was murdered the previous summer. Beth has quit university, is lying to her parents, and popping pills like Tic Tacs. Maybe this will finally bring her peace.

When she gets a job at a local diner where Amber once worked, she connects with people who knew her sister. Beth wants to find who killed her sister and put her own life back together, but as she gets closer to the truth, she learns that there is more than one person lying in Cold Creek.
Book Cover
Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all?

The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind–until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.

Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride?
Book Cover
Ten thousand years ago, a mysterious race that we only know as the Overseers took primitive humans and scattered them on dozens of worlds across the galaxy. Now, some of those people have found their way back to Earth. A young Justice Keeper named Anna Lenai has tracked a criminal through unexplored regions of space in the hopes of recovering a symbiont that grants its host the ability to bend space and time. Her search leads her to Earth, where she befriends a young man named Jack Hunter. Together, they will face enemies with advanced technology as they struggle to recover the symbiont before its power falls into the wrong hands.
Book Cover
What to do when your crush turns out to be a monster (and other such problems).

Just when correctional nurse October Grace has a handle on her stressful job and taking care of her mentally ill mother, a shapeshifting warrior and a half-vampire plunge her into a foreign land that’s on the brink of starvation. Now, with a ticking clock and a target on her back, October takes up the mantle of becoming one of the rare Omens who can bring hope to a dying world.
Mason and Von remain by her side to shield the national treasure while she sacrifices herself to reap the souls that will feed the nations of Terraway. As the death toll rises daily, October finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat world where fairytale creatures run wild… and every day is a new bloody battle.

Top Ten Tuesday: Funny Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


When I saw this weeks TTT prompt, I got a huge smile on my face. I have read quite a few books with titles that were funny. So no endless searching of my read shelf on Goodreads….lol. So, here’s my list. Let me know if you have read any of these books!!


1. Well Met by Jen DeLuca

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All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

2 Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

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A twist of fate…

Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities… and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house… along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.

A clash of wills…

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?

3 How to Train Your Earl by Amelia Grey

Book Cover
Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

4 Mutts Like Me by Keri Armstrong

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All I ever wanted for the holidays was to have my family together. Unfortunately, with my mother dead, my grandmother drunk most of the time, and my dad… well, who knew who he was, much less where he’d disappeared to. No brothers, sisters, or cousins that I knew of.

Until now.

I just found out there’s a whole other world out there that I’m a part of, thanks to my dad.
Who it turns out is a freakin’ werewolf.
And still missing, by the way.

But now it seems I might be able to track him down – if I can just survive long enough to learn the truth about what happened to him, and somehow resist the pull of the silver-eyed fox who kidnapped me.

Happy flippin’ holidays to me.

5 They Mostly Come Out at Night by Benedict Patrick

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The villagers of the forest seal themselves in their cellars at night, whispering folktales to each other about the monsters that prey on them in the dark. Only the Magpie King, their shadowy, unseen protector, can keep them safe.

However, when an outcast called Lonan begins to dream of the Magpie King’s defeat at the hands of inhuman invaders, this young man must do what he can to protect his village. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to convince them to trust him again.

They Mostly Come Out At Night is the first novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Straddling the line between fantasy and folklore, this book is perfect for fans of the darker Brothers Grimm stories.

6 When a Laird Loves a Lady by Julie Johnstone

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A need to belong drives her. A longing to forget compels him. Fate may send them into each other’s arms, but only love can mend their hearts.

An Outlander

Raised by a tyrannical father, Marion de Lacy yearns for the comfort of belonging to a loving family. So when her father announces her betrothal to an evil knight in exchange for his help to overthrow the king, she concocts a desperate scheme to avoid the marriage: feigning her own death and then fleeing England. But when her plan goes terribly awry and she’s captured by the knight, not even her careful preparations could ready her for the Scottish barbarian who rescues her and then informs her that he’s to marry her by edict of her king. Certain her father will defy the king’s orders and wed her to the knight if she refuses the Highlander’s hand, Marion agrees to marry the strangely compelling but obstinate laird of the MacLeod clan.

A Highlander

After the death of his beloved wife, Iain MacLeod has no desire to marry ever again. Yet when he finds himself obliged to do so to secure the freedom of his childhood friend and king, he reluctantly travels across England to collect his unwanted bride, expecting to find a cold Englishwoman. Instead, he discovers a fiery, bold beauty who is fiercely loyal, protective of those she loves, and defies him at every turn, challenging his certainty that his heart is dead.

Ensnared

Following a hasty marriage and perilous journey to Scotland, Marion harbors no illusions that her new husband loves her. Still, her heart cannot resist the noble, brave warrior, and she cannot suppress the hope that she has finally found where she belongs. However, the harder she tries to fit in with the clan and gain Iain’s love, the farther away her dreams drift. Iain is more than willing to give his respect to his courageous wife—her kisses and caresses even ignite his blood and demand his passion—but he refuses to give up his heart. That is, until enemies near and far threaten to take Marion from him. Now the demons that haunt him can only be conquered by surrendering body and soul to Marion, if only it’s not too late…

7 Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

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Lindsay loves chocolate. It tastes good, it makes her feel good, it never cheats on her like her almost-ex-husband. It’s her best friend. But someone wants her dead and uses her weak spot—chocolate—to try to murder her.

Lindsay’s only secret is the recipe for her chocolate chip cookies, but she is surrounded by neighbors with deadly secrets. Suddenly she finds herself battling poisoned chocolate, a psycho stalker, and a dead man who seems awfully active for a corpse.

Her best friend and co-worker, Paula, dyes her blond hair brown, hides from everybody and insists on always having an emergency exit from any room. Secrets from Paula’s past have come back to put lives in jeopardy.

Determined to help Paula, Lindsay enlists the reluctant aid of another neighbor, Fred, an OCD computer nerd. In spite of his mundane existence, Fred possesses tidbits of knowledge about such things as hidden microphones, guns, the inside of maximum security prisons and how to take someone down with a well-aimed kick to his chin.

As Lindsay battles the elusive stalker, poisoned chocolate, and the dead man, she will need more than a chocolate fix to survive. But that’s always a good start.

8 Three Abductions and an Earl by Tessa Candle

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London-hating dreamer, Lydia Norwood, has failed spectacularly as a débutante. Now an encoretante whose family has lost a fortune, Lydia discovers that the beau monde is hard on a nouveau riche social climber, particularly one who is no longer riche and only wants to climb trees. Lydia must stave off the effrontery of rakes and conniving competitors long enough to make a good match, or else incur society’s scorn by earning her own money. Falling for the unattainable Lord Aldley is a distraction she cannot afford. But they share such an enchanted history, how can her heart resist?

The tragically virtuous Earl of Aldley is tired of ambitious families hurling debutantes at his head, but cannot hide in France forever. He returns to London to seek out the mysterious tree-climbing girl who once saved him from a scheming chit, and finds more than he bargained for. Abductions, seductions, trickery and injury all endanger Lydia, but Lord Aldley’s heart is imperiled beyond rescue. He has only just found her; will he lose her forever to his enemy, his best friend, or his own dangerous mistake?

9 No Prince Charming by Angel Payne and Victoria Blue

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who dressed up and went to a big party at the palace. When she was there, she met a prince. They danced and fell in love…

Damn good line. Too bad I don’t believe a word of it anymore.

My name is Claire Montgomery, and I’m not a princess. I’m a fighter. I worked hard to earn my place on the emergency image repair team for one of the biggest public relations companies in the country. We’ve been called to the renowned Chicago headquarters of Stone Global Corporation, where it’s our job to clean up a heap of the Stone family’s filthiest laundry. Our success will be the biggest victory of my career. I’m on my game. I’m ready.

Why doesn’t ready include a contingency plan for Killian Stone?

10 Bare Ass in Love by Sasha Burke

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The woman’s killing me.

I’m not the kind of man who would normally even consider blurring the lines between landlord and tenant or boss and employee, but Summer is a walking temptation. Neurotic and obsessive when it comes to work details, sure, but a damn cute temptation nevertheless.

She’s been a good tenant and an even better worker. Plus, she doesn’t simper or throw herself at me like a lot of women who find out my net worth. I’ve grown…fond of her, oddly enough.

But if she drags me out of bed in the middle of the night to talk about work one more time…

* * * * *

The man’s a saint.

Not only did Jason hire me for the greatest project I’ve ever run point on, but he also let me move into an amazing loft in his building as an extravagant job-relocation perk. Sure, he can be a grouch when I accidentally wake him up to go over the project, but he’s still a saint nevertheless.

He’s been a fantastic boss and a surprisingly protective landlord. But…when did his shoulders get so wide? And why is that growling voice of his making me all weak in the knees lately?

Also, is it still considered morning wood if it happens in the middle of the night…or something more?

WWW Wednesday: FEBRUARY 10th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

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


Personal:

I have been sick and it stinks. It isn’t the Rona, instead I stupidly decided to let a simple UTI go for too long and it turned into a bladder infection….sigh (sorry if TMI). I got a lecture from my Dr and a script for a strong antibiotic. Now, I am feeling better from the infection but the antibiotic side effects are kicking my ass :(. Teaches me to put something off for months (yes, about 3 1/2 months).

Miss R is going to her first horse show in a week!! Her trainer/instructor told me that she thinks she’s ready to start showing. They are going to enroll her in a part of the show where they judge on how the kids sit and how they control the horse. She is super excited and to be honest, I am too.

Mr. Z is plugging away at his Black History Month project. He’s almost completed it, just needs to film the video. He is stressed out about it. He has 2 more social studies project, an introduction to office management (a required class here) and 2 science projects due by the end of next week. That’s too much, if you ask me.

Miss B is still walking to the beat of her own drummer. She does her own thing. She has a ton of projects too but they are spaced out. The funnest one that she’s doing: She is making a clay model of the Colosseum for her World History class. All she has to do is add detail and she’s done.

I haven’t watched a ton of TV this past week. I have been watching Jeopardy regularly. At night, we’ve been watching shows from Discovery +. We are going between Bizarre Foods and Expedition Unknown. BK has been watching Babylon 5 on HBOmax.

Blog:

Nothing too much going on with my blog. So this is going to be a small section.

Reading:

I read next to nothing from Thursday to Tuesday of this week. I am hoping to knock some of my books off my currently reading stack. I am currently 8 books behind on my Goodreads challenge. Hopefully I can catch up!!


I recently finished reading:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

I was a little disappointed with How to Train Your Earl. I didn’t connect with Brina or Zane. There was definite sexual chemistry but that was ruined for me by Brina’s attitude. Her attitude sucked. She jumped to conclusions (mainly at the end) and flipped out.


What I am currently reading:

A Private Heaven
Helicopter Adventure
Prison Survival
Family Struggle


A Private Heaven is an adventure-filled drama based on a true story. Like Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, this is the story of two brothers as opposite as Cain and Abel.

When Dave, the impulsive, younger brother completes his tour of duty in Vietnam, he moves his young family to Newfoundland, where he embarks on a challenging, often dangerous career as a helicopter pilot. Dave’s older brother, a six-foot-four, muscle-bound convict, has Hollywood good looks, a charming smile, and a serious penchant for violence.

With the stunningly beautiful island of Newfoundland as one backdrop and the Oklahoma State Penitentiary as the other, A Private Heaven is brimming with helicopters, rescues, icebergs, poachers, a prison rodeo, and even a prime minister’s wife.

Dave quickly learns the harsh realities of bush flying and wonders what will explode first-his fragile marriage or his beat-up, antique helicopter.

This is a different type of book for me to read. I am absolutely enjoying this book. It was wonderfully written and the dual plotlines are compelling. Also, I like that it is semi-autobiographical. I am about halfway through reading this book and should finish it up tonight.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I am hoping to read the first 3 books by next week’s WWW Wednesday. The other ones are a maybe.

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.
Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.


The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.
The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.


The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.
 
A Cowboy Kind of Love (Heart of Texas #6)
Who wants to rodeo again?

Jace Wilder has been rebuilding his life since the love of his life, Taryn, up and left town unexpectedly. But when she mysteriously returns, Jace’s dependable world comes crashing down. Taryn is hiding a dangerous secret, and no matter how hard he tries, Jace can’t stay away―especially when Taryn is at risk. And especially when the attraction he thought he’d buried long ago is back and hotter than ever. Will he be able to trust Taryn again?

The Show Girl: A Novel by [Nicola Harrison]
Nicola Harrison’s The Show Girl gives a glimpse of the glamorous world of the Ziegfeld Follies, through the eyes of a young midwestern woman who comes to New York City to find her destiny as a Ziegfeld Follies star.

It’s 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more—even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy—the only man she’s ever met who seems to accept her modern ways—her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


What I am Reading Now:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

I am having a really hard time getting through this book. Brina and Zane are not vibing with me. He has been coming across as pushy and somewhat stalkery. She has been coming off as almost too independent for the era (did I just say that!!!). There is sexual chemistry and Brina’s backstory with mental illness is interesting. So, yes, I am disappointed. But I am holding out for the book to become good (is that a thing?).


What I plan on reading this week:

Because of my illness (which started on Thursday), I didn’t read anything last week. I also added a couple of books to the pile that needs to be read this week….sigh. I am hoping to at least get through 2 (and if I’m lucky 3), this week. So, here’s my list. I am doing these books in priority order.

A Private Heaven
Helicopter Adventure
Prison Survival
Family Struggle


A Private Heaven is an adventure-filled drama based on a true story. Like Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, this is the story of two brothers as opposite as Cain and Abel.

When Dave, the impulsive, younger brother completes his tour of duty in Vietnam, he moves his young family to Newfoundland, where he embarks on a challenging, often dangerous career as a helicopter pilot. Dave’s older brother, a six-foot-four, muscle-bound convict, has Hollywood good looks, a charming smile, and a serious penchant for violence.

With the stunningly beautiful island of Newfoundland as one backdrop and the Oklahoma State Penitentiary as the other, A Private Heaven is brimming with helicopters, rescues, icebergs, poachers, a prison rodeo, and even a prime minister’s wife.

Dave quickly learns the harsh realities of bush flying and wonders what will explode first-his fragile marriage or his beat-up, antique helicopter.

This is outside of books that I usually read. But the author had emailed me with a review request and the blurb caught my attention. So, here’s to hoping that I like it!!

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.


MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

I have pushed this book off so many times that I am starting to feel bad about it. So, I have made a pledge to myself: I will read this book this week. Here’s to hoping that I can keep it…lol.

Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.


She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.

Again, another book that I keep putting off. I am hoping to get to it at some point this week.

The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.


As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.


The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.

This is that last book that I have put off for a couple of weeks. While I expect to start it this week, I do not think I will finish it. The book is 647 pages long. It is going to take me at least 2 days to get through (and I am a fast reader).

A Cowboy Kind of Love (Heart of Texas #6)
Who wants to rodeo again?

Jace Wilder has been rebuilding his life since the love of his life, Taryn, up and left town unexpectedly. But when she mysteriously returns, Jace’s dependable world comes crashing down. Taryn is hiding a dangerous secret, and no matter how hard he tries, Jace can’t stay away―especially when Taryn is at risk. And especially when the attraction he thought he’d buried long ago is back and hotter than ever. Will he be able to trust Taryn again?

Taryn Hillman’s world fell apart one horrifying night, and it’s never been the same since. When she sees a small chance at untangling herself, she takes it, though it means returning to Clearview – and seeing Jace again. But when he vows to protect her, will Taryn take a chance, and this time, never let him go?

I am a huge Donna Grant fan and when SMP contacted me to review this book, I jumped on it. Now, I might not get to this book this week but I will be reading it as it is an ARC.

The Show Girl: A Novel by [Nicola Harrison]
It’s 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more—even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy—the only man she’s ever met who seems to accept her modern ways—her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.

This was another review request from SMP that I almost likely will not get to this week. Saying that, I cannot wait to read it. It sounds fantastic!!

WWW Wednesday: February 3rd 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

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


Personal:

I skipped doing all bookish meme’s last week and Sunday of this week. I have a couple of reasons. The first one being: I was busy. I had appointments almost every single day last week and by the time I got home, I wasn’t in the mood for sitting at the computer and blogging. The second reason: A lot of the weekly memes were repeating themselves. I don’t know how many times I could answer what books/authors I want to read in 2021. So, I made the decision to skip them until February.

Miss R has to get braces on her top teeth. We had an orthodontist appointment yesterday and he had made the decision that she needs them. The oral surgeon removed too many teeth on top and they all shifted. Now, she doesn’t have enough room for her canines to come through. Add to that they are coming in sideways. I feel that I am going to get judged because she’s only 7. Sigh.

Mr. Z has an interesting project that he’s doing for social studies. To celebrate Black History Month, his school does a wax museum featuring prominent and famous African Americans. For this project, he has to dress up and deliver a speech about his chosen person. The person he chose was Thurgood Marshall. We got glasses (which Mr. Z wears anyway) and a fake mustache. On the list of what we need to get: a robe (Thurgood Marshall was a Supreme Court Justice), a collared white shirt and a tie.

Nothing to say about Miss B. She’s doing well in school (right now: A/B honor roll) and is generally loving life.

I finished His Dark Materials last week. I was NOT happy about how it ended and wanted to scream!!!! I also have made it to episode 5 of Bridgerton. The end of the episode was….memorable. If you’ve watched it, you know what I’m talking about….lmao. I’ve also started Titans on HBOMax. Talk about a darker take on the Teen Titans!!! I’m also thinking of restarting Raised by Wolves. BK and I watched episode 1 but never resumed the series.

Blog:

Like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I started taking review requests again. I posted 1 review request last week (along with 1 review of a book that I had on my TBR). I have two upcoming reviews this week. It feels good to be back reviewing!!!

I still need to clean up my previous posts. I did start on my Tag/Categories section last weekend but got sidetracked by cleaning and family stuff. I plan on doing more at some point.

Reading:

I had a good reading week last week, for the most part. I finished 4 books last week.


I recently finished reading:

The Death of Vivek Oji
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

Reading The Death of Vivek Oji destroyed me. It destroyed me in a good way. I was in no way prepared for the range of emotions this book put me through. Now, saying that, there were some parts of the book the made me go “eh“. I’m not going to go into it now (wait for my review) but that did not affect how I viewed the book.


What I am currently reading:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

I just started reading How to Train Your Earl and I am loving it. The way Zane and Brina were introduced was funny (and a little scary) and I am a little irritated by how Zane’s family treated him (if you read the first few chapters, you know what I’m talking about). I am hoping to have this read by Friday and the review up on April 27th.


What books I think I’ll read next:

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit
their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.
Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.
The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he
‘s had the chance to make it.

The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.
A Cowboy Kind of Love (Heart of Texas #6)
Who wants to rodeo again?

Jace Wilder has been rebuilding his life since the love of his life, Taryn, up and left town unexpectedly. But when she mysteriously returns, Jace’s dependable world comes crashing down. Taryn is hiding a dangerous secret, and no matter how hard he tries, Jace can’t stay away―especially when Taryn is at risk. And especially when the attraction he thought he’d buried long ago is back and hotter than ever. Will he be able to trust Taryn again?

Taryn Hillman’s world fell apart one horrifying night, and it’s never been the same since. When she sees a small chance at untangling herself, she takes it, though it means returning to Clearview – and seeing Jace again. But when he vows to protect her, will Taryn take a chance, and this time, never let him go?

I am hoping to read at least 3 of these books by the next WWW. I think I can do it (without late nights hopefully). I am also hoping to knock some books off my reading challenges (3 out of the 4 are on there).

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


What I am Reading Now:

The Death of Vivek Oji
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

The Death of Vivek Oji had been sitting on my NetGalley shelf for months before I decided to download it. I had originally wished for it but then went on my hiatus shortly afterwards. During that time, my wish got granted (go figure, my wishes NEVER get granted from there….lol). So, this book breaks my self-imposed NetGalley ban and I am glad to be back. I should be posting the review next week!!

What I plan on reading this week:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

How to Train Your Earl was a publisher request that I decided to accept last week. This is my first ARC review since I went on break and I am excited about it!! I am a huge Regency/historical romance fan, so it was a no-brainer that I was going to accept this book. Since this is an ARC, my review will not be published right away. Look for it around April 27th!!

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.


MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

MacFarland’s Lass has been sitting on my TBR shelf on Goodreads since 2018. I was supposed to get to it a couple of weeks ago but got sidetracked by review requests/library books coming off hold.

Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.


I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.

Exploited is another book that has been sitting on my Goodreads TBR shelf since 2018. I got it in a mass purchase of free books with MacFarland’s Lass and The Last City of America.

The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.

The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.

The Last City of America is the last of my 2018 trio that are on this list. This is a HUGE book (647 pages) and I am hoping that I can at least start it by the weekend.


Have you read any of the books on my list? Let me know!!

It’s All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James: Book 3) by Amelia Gray

It's All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James, #3)

3.5 Stars

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

Date of publication: May 29th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The Rakes of St. James

Last Night with the Duke – Book 1

To the Duke, with Love – Book 2

It’s All About the Duke – Book 3

Where you can find It’s All About the Duke: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal―but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…

Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked Duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?

Continue reading “It’s All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James: Book 3) by Amelia Gray”