A Duke in Time (The Widow Rules: Book 1) by Janna MacGregor

Book Cover

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

Date of publication: June 29th, 2021

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance

Series: The Widow Rules

Where There’s a Will—Book 0.5

A Duke in Time—Book 1

Rules of Engagement—Book 2 (publication date TBA)

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Publisher

Goodreads Synopsis:

Get ready for lost wills, broody dukes, and scorching hot kissing all over London in A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor.

Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.

First Line:

“He was a good man.” Katherine patted the family solicitor’s arm while the poor man hung his head in grief.

A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor

When I saw that Janna MacGregor had a new series out, I was pretty pumped about it. I had read (and loved) The Cavensham Heiress series. My expectations were set high for this book because of that. I am happy to say that A Duke in Time did not disappoint me at all.

A Duke in Time takes place in 1815 London, England. Katherine’s husband, Meri, has passed away, and she is attending the reading of the will. To her surprise, two other women, both claiming to be Meri’s wife, also show up. Katherine, being a much better person, allows both women to move into their house while deciding who the legal wife is. Aiding her in this is her husband’s half-brother, The Duke of Randford. Unfortunately, Katherine is also hiding secrets. These secrets could destroy everything that she has come to hold dear, including her growing love for Christian.

I liked Katherine. She dealt with everything that life threw at her with grace. I mean, if I found out my husband married two other ladies, I would have flipped my lid. But, instead, she took them (and their companions) into her house and made them family. But she was also tough. She forced Christian to help her with untangled the mess that Meri left. She also dealt with business rivals with that same toughness.

Christian, I was a little more on the fence about. At the beginning of the book, he came across as kind of a jerk. He wanted nothing to do with Katherine (or Meri’s other wives). But, as the book went on, my initial first impression of him changed. He was a war hero and was dedicated to helping the soldiers that served under him. But, he also became dedicated to helping Meri’s wives, seeing who was the legal 1st wife, and keeping the other two from becoming “ruined.”

The main storyline was well written, and it kept my attention. I got involved in the plotline and couldn’t wait to see how everything turned out. There were a few twists and turns in the plotline, but I was delighted with how it turned out.

The romance angle of the book was terrific. Instead of having Katherine and Christian fall immediately in love, the author chose to have their love grow over time. It made me feel that their romance was true.

There is sex in A Duke in Time. For a Regency novel, the sex is explicit. There is a very hot mutual masturbation scene that made me fan myself. The author kept up that sexual tension until Katherine and Christian had sex.

The storyline with the secrets (both Christian and Katherine) was hard to read. Christian was just sad, and I couldn’t wrap my head around what his father asked him to do. Katherine’s was heartbreaking, and I couldn’t believe that it was used against her. But, how her’s was resolved left me shaking my head in disbelief.

The end of the book was terrific. The connection that Christian and Katherine have came across the pages. I had tears in my eyes. But the epilogue made the book!!

A Duke in Time was a great romance to read. I connected with both main characters, as well as the secondary characters.

I would recommend A Duke in Time to anyone over the age of 21. There is explicit sex and mild violence.

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


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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses: Book 4) by Janna MacGregor

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

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: November 27th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride—Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky—Book 2

The Luck of the Bride—Book 3 (review here)

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke—Book 4

Rogue Most Wanted—Book 5 (expected date of publication: June 25th, 2019

Where you can find The Good, the Bad, and the Duke: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

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?

My review:

Paul is a rogue who is trying to right all the wrongs that he has caused. Mainly the friendships that he threw away. But it wasn’t going to be easy. Those ex-friends detest him. Redemption comes in the form of Lady Daphne Hallworth. Daphne has had her journal stolen. A journal that has her very private thoughts and dreams in it. Paul would move heaven and earth to keep the wrong sort of people from getting a hold of that journal. Will that happen? Will he get the journal back? Will he be able to mend the relationships with his friends? And more importantly, will he be able to keep the happiness that he found with Daphne? Or will he be forced to let that go?

I hated Paul’s father. What he did to Paul when he was alive was awful. He was beaten for any little slight as a child. One beating was so bad that he couldn’t sit down without a pillow for a week. Once Paul’s brother saw what was going on, he stopped it. But he couldn’t stop the emotional abuse. The way that Paul acted in the first couple of books was a direct result of how his father treated him. Even after death, he was still torturing Paul. Those notes (actually the titles of them) were heartbreaking to read. There was an explanation towards the end of the book about why Paul’s father treated him the way he did. It was a weak explanation but it did bring some light about why Paul was abused.

I got shivers reading Paul and Daphne’s scenes together. Even before they kissed, you could tell that they wanted each other. But once they kissed, it was like a fire was set. Those scenes set this book on fire. What I liked is that the author kept the sexual attraction and tension going after they had sex. Every sex scene was on fire. There were a few times I had to put down my Kindle and go “Oh my!!

What I also liked about this book was that Daphne was the only one for Paul. He could see her across the room and no one else existed. Everything he did after a certain point in the book was for her. I loved it. I loved seeing that it went both ways. I loved seeing them interact like they were the only people in a room. It was romantic.

I did like the storylines in the book. The author did a wonderful job of bringing them together. There were no forgotten plotlines. After the plotlines merged, the flow was flawless. It didn’t get choppy.

I will warn everyone that you will need a Kleenex or two while reading. There are a few scenes where I was moved to tears. The main scene, after Paul reads his father’s final letter, made me a sobbing mess. The other is the scene where he read his brother’s letter. Again, sobbing mess over here.

What I also liked about this book was that the villain in the other books was made into a hero. The author chose to give an explanation to his actions towards Emma and Claire. He was given a chance to redeem himself. I loved it!!

The end of the book made me happy. And the epilogue, I was ecstatic. Out of all the books I have read this year, this one has touched me the most. Paul deserved his HEA with Daphne. With everything he went through, that man deserved every bit of happiness that he could get.

I gave The Good, the Bad, and the Duke a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. The plotlines were wonderfully written. I came to care for the characters and got emotionally invested in backstories. You will cry during this book, so read with a box, or two, of Kleenex. Any quibble that I had with the book was minor and had no effect on my rating.

I would give The Good, the Bad, and the Duke an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is mild violence. There is no language. There are triggers. They are child abuse. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Good, the Bad, and the Duke. 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 The Good, the Bad, and the Duke.

All opinions stated in this review of The Good, the Bad, and the Duke are mine.

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

Have you read The Good, the Bad, and the Duke?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords: Book 2) by Bronwen Evans

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: September 4th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Imperfect Lords

Addicted to the Duke – Book 1 (review here)

Drawn to the Marquess – Book 2

Attracted to the Earl – Book 3 (expected publication date: February 26th, 2019)

Where you can find Drawn to the Marquess: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Destined to go blind, a rake sets his sights on the toast of society, lighting a fire of passion that scorches the night, in this captivating novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

Stephen Hornsby, the Marquess of Clevedon, has one goal: to see every exquisite thing he can before he goes blind. His greatest joy, watching a woman shuddering in the throes of passion, will be gone. But before the darkness descends, he is determined to seduce a magnificent widow, Lady Penelope Fisherton. Unfortunately, his rakish reputation has preceded him; Lady Penelope spurns his advances. Being a man who relishes a challenge, however, her reluctance adds only luster to his desire for the last beautiful sight he’ll ever see.

Considered the belle of London society, Lady Penelope was married to a scoundrel who cared for no one but himself. Now that she’s free, she wants nothing to do with love, passion, or desire—emotions that abandoned her with a cruel husband. So why does her body react when Stephen smiles? As much as she’d like to avoid the rogue, her brother-in-law wants her fortune, and he’ll kill to get it. Stephen is willing to help, but he’ll take only one thing in return: Her. In his bed.

My Review:

I love historical romance. Something about reading about love in Regency/Victorian England gets to me.  I love reading about the ton and its many rules about how a woman in Society must act. I love reading about how some women chose to either toe the line or ignore the strict rules that were set in place. I love reading about rakes and how they become reformed. I loved everything about them. Of course, there are some historical romances that I don’t like. But for the most part, they are some of my favorite books to read.

I enjoyed reading Drawn to the Marquess. What I liked the most about this book was that the characters were damaged. Stephen was going blind. Penelope was a battered wife. The author was able to take what happened to these characters and turn them into strengths. This book was nowhere as dark as the earlier book, Addicted to the Duke but it was dark enough for me.

There were things that I didn’t like about Drawn to the Marquess. I didn’t like how no one knew that Stephen had issues with his eyes. He couldn’t see anything off to the side and couldn’t see in low light. Wouldn’t that have been an issue when he was at balls? Because electricity hadn’t been invented yet and candlelight is dim. But, Penelope figured it out soon after meeting him? Didn’t make sense to me. I am sure that his mother and sisters would have noticed something. Because of what their father went through years ago. The other main thing was Penelope not telling Stephen about her husband’s death until after the Frenchman hinted about it. While I could understand her reluctance and embarrassment. But still. Stephen was working to clear her name and he finds that out. I would have been furious too.

I did connect with Penelope. I understood what she went through after her husband died. I also understood her absolute horror and disgust when she found out what he was doing. I wouldn’t have been so….restrained….in my response to that. I wanted to hug her and tell her that it wasn’t her fault. That he hid it well. But, she also annoyed me a little. As I stated above, I thought she should have been more upfront about her husband’s death to Stephen.

I liked Stephen but I also pitied him. I couldn’t imagine knowing that I was going to go blind and seeing my vision go. I understood why he wanted to experience everything. He wanted those memories of what a sunset was like before he went blind. I even understood why he didn’t tell his family about going blind. He didn’t want to put his mother or sisters through that again.

While I figured out what role Penelope had in her husband’s death about halfway through, I was still surprised by it. It wasn’t exactly what I thought. As soon as she realized what a monster her husband was, she went out to take care of it. As she should have. Those people were her responsibility and she lived for 6 years without knowing what was going on. To me, that made her a hero.

The sex scenes were fantastic. Penelope was a wildcat in bed, once she realized that she could get pleasure from it. I loved the scene where she started describing what was going on while Stephen and she were having sex. That upped the hotness factor for me (and them).

The chemistry and sexual attraction between Penelope and Stephen didn’t go away after the first time. The author kept that amped up for the entire book. Even in the epilogue, all he had to do was look at her in a certain way and her toes curled. Loved it!!!

The end of the book was great. Stephen showed such courage when he went after Penelope. I thought the scenes after everything had happened was awesome. The author did a fantastic job at ending all the storylines. One storyline, which was a minor one, got wrapped up in the epilogue. I had tears in my eyes when I realized that both Penelope and Stephen had their HEA. I am also looking forward to book 3!!

What I liked about Drawn to the Marquess:

A) Characters were relatable

B) The connection I felt with both Stephen and Penelope

C) The sex scenes!!!

What I disliked about Drawn to the Marquess:

A) Stephen not letting people sooner about his eyesight issues

B) Penelope not being truthful about her role in her husband’s death

C) Penelope’s husband (what she found out he did).

I gave Drawn to the Marquess a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. I felt a strong connection to both characters. The storyline was great and easy to follow. I did have some issues with Penelope and Stephen but that didn’t factor into my rating.

I would give Drawn to the Marquess an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

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

I would like to thank Loveswept, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Drawn to the Marquess.

All opinions stated in this review of Drawn to the Marquess are mine.

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

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior: Book 3) by Lily Blackwood

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior, #3)

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: July 31st, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Highland Warrior

The Beast of Clan Kincaid – Book 1

The Rebel of Clan Kincaid – Book 2

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid – Book 3

Where you can find The Warrior of Clan Kincaid: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):


Derryth MacClaren is on the run. Traveling under heavy guard, she has been sent from her castle home to avoid capture by the vicious nobleman known as the Wolf, who has vowed revenge against the Clan Kincaid, and any who support them. When a surprise attack leaves her vulnerable, Derryth ends up in the hands of an enemy warrior who claims her, with the Wolf’s blessing, as his prize. But her captor’s gentle words and touch seduce her heart—and body—completely…and when she discovers the tattoo on his arm that proves him to be the legendary, long-believed dead son of the murdered Laird of Kincaid, Derryth knows she must find a way to alter his fate—and her own.

Cull has no memory of his family or past—all he knows is the life of a warrior, trained to fight on behalf of the Scottish king. If he can help the king’s law officer of the North, the Wolf of Badenoch, defeat a rebellious faction of Highlanders, Cull will be met with untold riches beyond possessing beautiful, innocent Derryth. But now that she has informed him of who he really is—Cullen Braewick, the youngest son of the slain laird—he is torn. If Cull exacts revenge against the Wolf, who executed his father, he stands to lose the precious lass who he has come to love. What is he willing to sacrifice for Derryth to keep her safe…and in his arms?

My Review:

Image result for love scotland gif

I have a love of all things Scottish. Heck, BK, my SO, can trace his roots back to Dundee, Scotland (2nd generation Scots on his mother’s side). I love historical romances based in Scotland and/or have Highlander’s. Ever since I had read Heather and Velvet by Teresa Medeiros, I have been hooked. So when I read the synopsis for The Warrior of Clan Kincaid, I thought “Right up my alley“. And guess what, it was.

I liked the plotline of The Warrior of Clan Kincaid. Cull was indebted to the Wolf. The Wolf rescued him from a slave ship in the Mediterranean when he was a child and trained him to a warrior. Cull rose through the ranks to fight for the Scottish King. He also is loyal to the Wolf. When the Wolf says that he has the king’s permission to move on the current Laird Kincaid, Cull doesn’t think twice. Derryth is being sent back to her stepmother to keep her safe as the battle looms. But she wasn’t safe. She was captured by Cull on the journey to her stepmother. She starts to develop feelings for Cull. It is after one magical night that she realizes who Cull is. Can she convince him to join his brothers in battle and embrace his birthright? Or is he too in debt to the Wolf to break free?

I liked Derryth. I loved seeing her transformation from a selfish little girl to a poised young woman. When she was first captured by Cull, I did get a laugh when she started using her wits to keep Cull away from her. I thought her drenching his side of the bed with cold water was funny. When she was held by the Wolf, she used her wits to keep one step ahead of the Wolf. She also revealed to Cull who he was and set that chain of events in motion. I admired her by the end of the book.

I felt awful for Cull. He was a slave until he was 12 when he was rescued by the Wolf. Then he was trained to fight for the King. But he was also used to do the Wolf’s dirty work. Work that included waging battle on the Kincaid’s. He didn’t particularly want to do it. He wanted a rest but if the Wolf said jump, Cull asked how high. All he wanted to was to find a place to belong. A sense of self. He had insecurities from being “Nameless“, which is what the King dubbed him. Which is why Derryth was good for him. She made him think about the future.

Image result for happy dance gif

The Wolf was an evil SOB. When he revealed why he ordered the execution of the former Laird of Kincaid, I got queasy, then angry. Love does strange things to people. What was even more messed up was that he knew where Cull was and he let him SUFFER for 5 years. The Wolf should have been hung up by his nads for that one. I loved the afterward. The author explained that he was a true historical figure and what happened to him the last night of his life. Poetic justice!!!

I felt that there was little build up to Derryth and Cull’s romance and relationship. It moved too fast for me. I like at least some romance before the characters start having feelings for each other.

Image result for outlander love gif

The sex between Derryth and Cull was super hot. Even though there was a lack of romance, it didn’t mean that there was a lack of sexual attraction. The author waited and banked on that attraction until it exploded between them. Even better, the sex was great for the rest of the book. There wasn’t one sex scene that was great and then the rest were stagnant. Nope, all the sex scenes were fantastic.

The end of the book was great. I did have some issues believing that Cull embraced his family as well as he did. Other than that, I loved it. I loved that justice was served at the end of the book and in the afterward!! I do wish that another book would be written about Ainsley. I would love to see what her story would be.

What I liked about The Warrior of Clan Kincaid:

A) Set in Scotland and had Highlanders

B) The plotline

C) Derryth. Her transformation was great

What I disliked about The Warrior of Clan Kincaid:

A) The Wolf. He was an evil SOB

B) Little romantic build up for Derryth and Cull

C) Had a hard time believing that Cull embraced his family as well as he did in the book.

I would give The Warrior of Clan Kincaid an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Warrior of Clan Kincaid. 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 The Warrior of Clan Kincaid.

All opinions stated in this review of The Warrior of Clan Kincaid are mine.

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

One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal: Book 4) by Manda Collins

One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4)

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: June 26th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Studies in Scandal

Ready Set Rogue – Book 1

Duke with Benefits – Book 2

Wallflower Most Wanted – Book 3

One for the Rogue – Book 4

Where you can find One for the Rogue: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):


Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing romance—and no patience for Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of always honing in on her territory… .annoyingly handsome though he may be. But when a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offers of protection. Even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. . .

Lisle was once amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work. But now that he understands how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her genius—Lisle is desperate to prove his respect…and prove himself worthy of her. But is he too late? A bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Lisle help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms?

My review

British paleontologist and fossil hunter Mary Anning was born in 1799.

I like it when historical romances take a different spin. I love reading Regency Era romance but sometimes they follow the same plot. So when I come across one that does something different, I have to read it. One for the Rogue does that.

Gemma is a geologist with an interest in fossils. Her interest in rocks, sand, and fossils are not a passing fancy. She is an expert in her area and in any other era would have been considered a genius. But, this is the Regency Era. Upper-class women were only valued for their dowries and bloodlines. Any woman who was interested in anything scholarly was labeled as a bluestocking and shunned by Polite Society. So, it was interesting to see the direct opposite of that happening in this book.

Gemma and 3 other gifted young women were invited to stay at a well-known woman scholar’s house for a year. During that time, they will be able to pursue their area of interest. If they manage to stay in the house for the year, they inherit everything that is in it. Out of the 4 girls, Gemma is the last one left and she is the most determined to finish her year. But, she needs to decipher the clue left behind by her benefactress. The only thing is that the clue is half-finished, with her benefactress dying before it could be complete. What she wasn’t counting on was a rival being murdered the same night she finds the artifact left for her. She also wasn’t counting on developing romantic feelings for her brother-in-law. She needs to push aside those feelings, find her fossil and the killer before the killer finds her.

Gemma was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t care what society thought of her. She wanted to be left alone, with her fossils and rocks. She wanted to be taken seriously by her male contemporaries. She wanted nothing to do with love. She had no time for it. I loved it. I loved how she decided that she was going to solve Sir Everard’s murder. Forget the constables, she was going to solve it herself. I also liked how she roped Cameron into helping her. I also liked how direct she was. She told Cameron that she didn’t want to marry him (after being caught kissing) but she would have him for a lover. LOVED it!!!

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I did like Cameron but he rubbed me the wrong way. Until Sir Everard’s murder, he went back and forth on what he thought of Gemma. It wasn’t until Sir Everard’s murder that he started taking her seriously. I also thought his view on marriage was very skewed. He took something that he saw as a teenager and let it dictate what he thought about marriage. Listen, if I found out what he did, I would have thought the same thing. But, I wouldn’t let it affect me years down the road. I did think that he let himself be caught kissing Gemma. I believe that he wanted to be caught. Just the vibe I got from that. I liked that he was with Gemma every step of the way during her “investigation“.

I liked that the author didn’t have to dedicate much time to build up a relationship between Gemma and Cameron. They already had a relationship from the earlier book. That left time for the author to build up the romance. It also left time for the author to develop their relationship from not liking each other to falling in love.

There is sex in One for the Rogue. I know that most people like reading “clean” historical romances. Not this chick, I like sex in these types of books. It flushes the book out. What was surprising to me was how in charge Gemma was. She was a virgin but she knew what she wanted out of her relationship with Cameron. She wasn’t afraid to tell him. She didn’t want to marry him. I found it silly that Cameron was being forced to marry Gemma. After being caught kissing <eye roll>. If I had to marry every guy that I kissed, well, let’s say that I would have a lot of husbands…lol.

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I did find it frustrating that Gemma jumped to the conclusion about things after hearing only half a conversation. Like my grandmother used to say “Don’t do no good listening in on other people talking. You only hear half of what is said and assume the other half.”

I loved the mystery part of One for the Rogue. It kept me on my toes and left me surprised when the mystery was solved. I was not expecting the murderer to be who it was.

The end of One for the Rogue was typical. All the storylines were wrapped up in a way that satisfied me as a reader. I do hope that there is a book that gives the chaperone her own love story. She deserves one!!!

What I liked about One for the Rogue:

A) Gemma. She was ahead of her time in this book.

B) Zero relationship build up for Gemma and Cameron.

C) The mystery angle. Kept me on my toes

What I disliked about One for the Rogue:

A) How smart women were treated in the Regency Era

B) Cameron and his issue with marriage

C) Gemma jumping to conclusions. Drove me crazy

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I would give One for the Rogue 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.

There are no trigger warnings in One for the Rogue.

I would reread One for the Rogue. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review One for the Rogue.

All opinions stated in One for the Rogue are mine.

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

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?

The Duke Who Ravished Me (Rebellious Brides: Book 4) by Diana Quincy

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 17th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Rebellious Brides

Spy Fall – Book 1

A License to Wed – Book 2 (review here)

From London with Love – Book 3 (review here)

The Duke Who Ravished Me – Book 4

Where you can find The Duke Who Ravished Me: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

An impulsive kiss between a libertine duke and a mysterious governess sparks a blaze of desire—and intrigue—in this breathtaking Regency romance from the award-winning author of Spy Fall.

Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, happily enjoys a different woman (or two) every night—or he did until his wards landed on his doorstep. Ever since Sunny took in the seven-year-old twin girls and their prim and proper governess, Isabel Finch, his love life has been a shambles. But, as time goes by, Sunny catches himself getting lost in Isabel’s haughty blue eyes, or following the curves beneath her unbecoming dress. An unexpected kiss ignites a passion that shocks him into realizing how thin the line between love and hate can be.

If Isabel’s hidden past were revealed, she could lose everything. Oddly enough, only when “Sinful Sunny” is near does she feel safe—or safe enough to speak up in defense of the girls. The duke’s decadent lifestyle is a disgrace, and clearly, he considers Isabel a nuisance. Still, she can’t help admiring his sculpted cheekbones, strong-cut jaw, and tousled chestnut hair. When their lips meet, it’s almost as if he could kiss the secrets right out of her. Worse, she’s tempted to let him. . . .

The Perfect Duchess (The Macalisters: Book 2) by Erica Taylor

The Perfect Duchess (The Macalisters, #2)

3 Stars

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Date of publication: April 17th, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Series: The Macalisters

A Suitable Affair – Book 1

The Perfect Duchess – Book 2

Where you can find The Perfect Duchess: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Andrew Macalister, oft regarded as the Stone Duke of Bradstone, hates his annual birthday ball tradition. He dislikes facing those around him who only see him for his title, and has given up on a chance to live a normal life. That is until he spots Lady Clara Masson across the ballroom. Clara’s twin sister is the woman who infamously jilted Andrew at the altar five years ago, but little does Clara know, Andrew had been smitten with her since childhood, and he finds her presence a ray of sunshine in a dreary dukedom. 

When Clara’s life is threatened by her evil brother, Johnathan, Andrew must do the only thing he can think of to save her: propose marriage. Between Clara’s trust issues and Andrew’s battle with societal norms, two find romance under dangerous circumstances.

My Review:

I’m going to admit, I read the reviews for The Perfect Duchess before I decided to review the book. With the majority of the reviews being favorable, I decided to take my chances with it. While I am glad that I read it, I was left feeling a little overwhelmed by everything that went on in the book. I felt that some of the action should have been cut. The storyline with Clara’s abusive brother was more than enough to carry the book. Anything else cluttered the plotline and dragged it down.

The Perfect Duchess was set in my favorite era, Regency England. Like I have stated in other reviews, I love this era. Something about it calls to me. I enjoy reading about the exploits of the ton. I love it when the bluestocking gets the Duke, Earl, or Count. I love reading about the different activities that the upper class did. I find reading about the Season fascinating. If you can’t tell, I have a passion for this era.

I liked that the author made Clara the underdog in the book. Her reputation was in tatters because of horrendous (for that time) rumors. She also carried the scandal of her sister jilting Andrew at the altar. So she was persona non grata in the ton, even though she was the daughter of an Earl. I thought that she handled the abuse thrown at her with grace. I know that I wouldn’t have been as gracious as her if I heard what people were saying about me.

I couldn’t get a handle on Andrew for a good part of the book. The author chose to make him unreadable. I don’t have a problem with that but she made him so unreadable that when he did certain things, it took me by surprise. I also didn’t get how him becoming a Duke had an effect on anything until Clara and Andrew had a talk about her brother. Then the lightbulb went over my head. I don’t know how I didn’t put two and two together.

I actually felt bad for Clara’s brother, Jonathan. I know, feeling bad for the bad guy. He didn’t ask to feel the way he felt and it was bad timing that things happened the way they did. I couldn’t imagine being gay during that time. But, my feeling bad for him only lasted through that part of the book. He did some awful things to Clara and her sister for money. Any pity I had for him was washed away when it was revealed exactly what he put her twin through.

Clara did drive me up a wall. I could understand her trust issues. But there was a time in the book where I was eye-rolling and going “Seriously“. I did like her but still. She should have trusted Andrew. She knew that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.

I loved the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter of the gossip rag. I laughed at how the full names of everyone talked about were not used. But you knew who they were. I did feel bad for Clara. It was like she was living her life under a microscope and this column was picking her apart.

I didn’t get the storylines of Clara’s sister, her secret and the inheritance being introduced so late in the story. While it showed why Jonathan was doing what he was doing, I felt that it dragged the book down. Made it murky and confusing. I had to reread those parts to get them straight in my head. That is not something I like doing.

The sex between Clara and Andrew was hot but I felt that it was also a bit forced. I would have been fine with them not having sex and letting their chemistry continue to the end of the book. I do feel that them having sex did let some of the oomph out of their relationship.

The end of The Perfect Duchess was your typical historical romance ending. A HEA (which I liked). I am wondering which sibling the author will write about next!!

What I liked about The Perfect Duchess:

A) The excerpts for the gossip magazine

B) Set in Regency England

C) Clara’s underdog status

What I disliked about The Perfect Duchess:

A) Plotlines introduced in the last half of the book.

B) Mark was too unreadable

C) Sex killed the chemistry

I would give The Perfect Duchess an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is not any language. I wouldn’t let anyone under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in The Perfect Duchess. They are: abuse (emotional and physical) and bullying

I am on the fence if I would reread The Perfect Duchess. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends. If I did recommend, I would give a heads up about the trigger warning.

I would like to thank Amberjack Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Perfect Duchess.

All opinions in this review of The Perfect Duchess are mine.

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

A Devil in Scotland (No Ordinary Hero: Book 3) by Suzanne Enoch

A Devil in Scotland (No Ordinary Hero, #3)

2.5 Stars (rounded up to 3 for Goodreads, NetGalley)

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

Date of publication: January 30th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance

Series: No Ordinary Hero

Hero in the Highlands – Book 1

My One true Highlander – Book 2

A Devil in Scotland – Book 3

Where you can find A Devil in Scotland: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

The dawning of desire…

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever…

…is delicious and dangerous.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

Trigger Warning: None