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

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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.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? June 21 2021

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.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

This weekend was OK, even though it didn’t start off that way.

Miss R has horseback riding lessons on Friday. It was super hot out. Miss R was on a new horse, who was being a jerk and refused to go straight for her. He kept going in circles. She was well-hydrated but after the lesson, she started not feeling well. By the time the horse was untacked and fed, she was complaining of a headache and feeling sick to her stomach. By the time the horse was put out to pasture and she got to the car, she was sweating and saying she was going to throw up. I had to run back to the barn to get her helmet and in that 5-minute walk, she had a potty accident. She has NEVER had an accident and she was so upset. She also started to dry heave. I turned the AC on super high, refilled her water bottle, and drove like the devil home (she already peed her seat, I was afraid she was going to throw up). A shower, some time in the AC at home, snuggles, and more water later, she was feeling better.

Saturday, we decided to go to Carowinds for the day. We had bought season passes and decided Saturday would be a wonderful day to visit. It was hot (93) but cloudy. The kids had a blast and we are hoping to go back at some point this summer.

Sunday was Father’s Day and we spent it hanging out. We watched the director’s cut of The Justice League (4 hours!!) and played video games. It was relaxing.


What I am Reading Now:

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Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?

I am about halfway through The Disappearing Act. I am not too sure what I think about it. And I am pretty sure that I think I know what is going on with Emily’s disappearance.


What I plan on reading this week:

This week, I have 2 ARCs and 2 library books that I need to read.

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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.
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I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.
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One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
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This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra — who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.


But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents — including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more — Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

WWW Wednesday: June 16th 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 was a very boring week in my household. Nothing too much going on here.

Nothing too much going on with the kids. They are enjoying sleeping in late and basically doing nothing.

Blog:

Same old thing going on with the blog: Nothing. I haven’t been motivated to start working on the stuff that needs to be worked on.

Reading:

I have read 3 books since last week’s WWW Wednesday. It would have been 4 but I got a headache last night and went to bed early. I finished 1 library book and 2 ARC’s. I am needing to write the review for the ARC’s and plan on doing that tomorrow (if my kids allow it).

Watching:

Still watching Blacklist. We are on Season 7 right now and I am going to have to wait for Season 8 to end and come on Netflix. I started watching Shadow and Bone on Monday and all I have to say is “Wow“!! We also gave up on watching Game of Thrones. My kids have a six sense when we are watching adult TV and they had been popping into the living room. So, it’s on the backburner. I also started watching Ragnarok on Sunday. I am very intrigued by it. BK doesn’t like dubbed or subtitled shows/movies but I do (it’s in Norwegian).


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Book Cover
I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

I absolutely loved this book!! Harley’s story absolutely broke my heart and when Draven came into the story, I knew it was going to get good. And oh boy, did it.


What I am currently reading:

Book Cover
Around the world, twenty-two people have been murdered. The victims fit no profile, the circumstances vary wildly, but one thing links them all: in every case the victim is branded with a number.

With police around the globe floundering and unable to identify any pattern, let alone find a killer, CIA Analyst Quinn Mitchell is called in to investigate.

Before long, Quinn is on the trail of an ice-hearted assassin with seemingly limitless resources – but she’s prepared for that.

What she isn’t prepared for is the person pulling the strings…

I just started reading Scorpion on Monday. I meant to finish it yesterday, but I got a headache/borderline migraine right before bed and decided to put it off until today. What I did read got my curiosity up and that created the itch to read it. If my kids behave, I might sit on the couch and read a couple of chapters (stress if, they have been at each other’s throats today). If not, then reading in bed it is.


What books I think I’ll read next:

This week, I have all ARCs on my to-read list. I do have a couple of library books that **might** come off hold. But I’m not sure. Also, and this is weird, but I have a ghost book on the list. The author contacted me today to review it. It’s still being edited and is in draft form on Amazon. As soon as she gets it published, she’s sending me the link. I am going to prewrite the review and publish it when she contacts me.

Book Cover
Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?
Book Cover
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.
Book Cover
I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.

What are HighTower Fairytales?

HighTower Fairytales lean more toward the original sources (NOT Disney) with rich semi-historical settings. They have magic. They have scary monsters. And, most importantly, they have unique and complex characters who are trying hard to improve themselves.

They also include plenty of humor and all the heroes marry their prince/princess charming and live happily ever after at the end!


Basically, these stories meant to inspire, but have a very difficult and occasionally dark tower to climb. They are conservatively marked at 14+ and are appropriate for teens and young adults.

Currently these stories include:

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (2017)
Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast (2020)
Depths: A Tale of the Little Mermaid (2020)
Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella (2021)
Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (2021)

And more on the way!!!

Love You to Death by Reily Garrett (the ghost book)

Top Ten Tuesday: Most recent ARC’s from NetGalley

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 today’s TTT, I had to take a step back and think about the prompt. Since I do IMWAYR and WWW, everyone is fairly up to date with what I am reading and have read. That is when I decided to take it in a different direction. I am going to do the last 10 NetGalley ARC’s I recieved.

What was the last ARC you recieved? Or read? Were you excited? Let me know!! I am curious and am looking to expand my own already overfilled TBR shelf!!


1. What We Devour by Linsey Miller

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Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.

I got an email from Sourcebooks yesterday with the invite. It surprised me because I haven’t received invites from that publisher before. I am pretty excited to read this book. I mean, look at the cover and read the blurb!!

2. The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

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Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual strangers. Especially when that particular stranger is her best friend’s new brother-in-law. It isn’t an easy decision, though. Seth Kim is temptation personified. His unreasonably handsome looks and charming personality makes him easy on the eyes and good for her ego.

When a friendly game of Truth or Dare leads to an uncomplicated four-date arrangement with Seth, Tara can’t say she minds. But their dates, while sweet and sexy, have a tendency to hit roadblocks. Thankfully, their non-dates and chance meetings get frequent and heated.

Seth is leaving for a new job in Paris in a month and a no-strings attached fling seemed like a nice little distraction for both… But soon Seth realizes that Tara Park doesn’t come in a “nice & little” package–she’s funny and bold, sweet and sexy, and everything he ever wanted and never expected to find. Neither of them are ready for something serious and both have past relationship baggage they’ve been ignoring, but with a shot at forever on the line will they follow their hearts and take a chance on happily-ever-after?

This was an invite to review from Saint Martin’s Press. I chose to accept this book because it sounded sweet. I haven’t been reading a ton of romance and I figured this will be an easy read.

3. The Dare by Lesley Kara

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As a child, it was just a game. As an adult, it was a living nightmare.

‘This time it’s different. She’s gone too far now.
She really has.’

When teenage friends Lizzie and Alice decide to head off for a walk in the countryside, they are blissfully unaware that this will be their final day together – and that only Lizzie will come back alive.

Lizzie has no memory of what happened in the moments before Alice died, she only knows that it must have been a tragic accident. But as she tries to cope with her grief, she is shocked to find herself alienated from Alice’s friends and relatives. They are convinced she somehow had a part to play in her friend’s death.

Twelve years later, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is horrified to find long-buried memories suddenly surfacing. Is the trauma of the accident finally catching up with her, or could someone be trying to threaten her new-found happiness?


Twelve years is a long time to wait, when you’re planning the perfect revenge . . .

This was an invite to review from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine. I am a fan of Lesley Kara’s books (I have read her previous 2 books) and I like thrillers.

4. The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss

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Leaving was my sister’s choice. I would have to make my own.

All Harriet Szász has ever known is life onstage with her sister, Josie. As “The Sisters Sweet,” they pose as conjoined twins in a vaudeville act conceived of by their ambitious parents, who were once themselves theatrical stars. But after Josie exposes the family’s fraud and runs away to Hollywood, Harriet must learn to live out of the spotlight—and her sister’s shadow. Striving to keep her struggling family afloat, she molds herself into the perfect daughter. As Josie’s star rises in California, the Szászes fall on hard times and Harriet begins to form her first relationships outside her family. She must decide whether to honor her mother, her father, or the self she’s only beginning to get to know.

Full of long-simmering tensions, buried secrets, questionable saviors, and broken promises, this is a story about how much we are beholden to others and what we owe ourselves. Layered and intimate, The Sisters Sweet heralds the arrival of an accomplished new voice in fiction.

The Sister’s Sweet was a wish granted to me by the publisher through NetGalley. I tend to make a lot of wishes on there and I normally don’t get a ton of them granted. But this one, I did. It looks like a good read.

5. The Maid by Nita Prose

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Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misinterprets the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has had to navigate life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.


But Molly’s orderly life is turned on its head the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself very dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

This was another wish granted by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine. I don’t read a ton of straight mystery novels. But the blurb caught my eye. I can’t wait to read this book!!

6. Scorpion by Christian Cantrell

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Around the world, twenty-two people have been murdered. The victims fit no profile, the circumstances vary wildly, but one thing links them all: in every case the victim is branded with a number.

With police around the globe floundering and unable to identify any pattern, let alone find a killer, CIA Analyst Quinn Mitchell is called in to investigate.

Before long, Quinn is on the trail of an ice-hearted assassin with seemingly limitless resources – but she’s prepared for that.


What she isn’t prepared for is the person pulling the strings…

This was an invite to review from Random House Publishing Group – Random House. Normally, I don’t read books like these, But I read the blurb and went “Hmmm, I think I’ll give it a try.

7. Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee

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I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.


So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

This was a wish granted by Entangled. I was taken by the cover (which is fantastic) and the blurb!! Unfortunately, my review is going to be slightly late. I got the email 2 weeks ago and didn’t check my dates. So, yeah, my bad.

8. Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond

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All Callie wanted was a quiet weekend with her best friend. She promised her mom she could handle running her family’s escape room business while her mom is out of town. Instead a Satanic cult shows up, claiming that the prop spell book in one of the rooms is the real deal, and they need it to summon the right hand of the devil. Naturally they take Callie and her friend, Mag, along with them. But when the summoning reveals a handsome demon in a leather jacket named Luke who offers to help Callie stop the cult from destroying the world, her night goes from weird to completely strange.

As the group tries to stay one step ahead of the cult, Callie finds herself drawn to the annoying (and annoyingly handsome) Luke. But what Callie doesn’t know is that Luke is none other than Luke Morningstar, Prince of Hell and son of the Devil himself. Callie never had time for love, and with the apocalypse coming closer, is there room for romance when all hell’s about to break loose?

This was an email invite from Saint Martin’s Press. This book strongly reminds me of the show Lucifer (from the plotline). Just from that observation, I am excited to read this!!

9. A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor

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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.

This was an email invite from St. Martin’s Press. The book was an auto accept for me. I love Janna MacGregor’s books and have read the all but 2 of The Cavensham Heiresses Series.

10. The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

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Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Moving between the trio’s adolescent years and the present day, The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won’t see coming, with magnetic characters you won’t soon forget.

This was an email invite from St. Martin’s Press. I was a little iffy if I wanted to read this book. What made me accept the book was the blurb.

Rogue Most Wanted (The Cavensham Heiresses: Book 5) by Janna MacGregor

Rogue Most Wanted (The Cavensham Heiresses Book 5) by [MacGregor, Janna]

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: June 25th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride—Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky—Book 2

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

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke—Book 4 (review here)

Rogue Most Wanted—Book 5

Wild, Wild Rake—Book 6 (expected date of publication: February 25th, 2020)

Where you can find Rogue Most Wanted: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

There’s one creed all Cavensham men subscribe to: they fall in love completely and decidedly. But what happens when the woman you fall in love with swears she’ll only marry you as a last resort? Rogue Most Wanted is the next book in the sparkling, romantic Cavensham Heiress series by Janna MacGregor.

SHE NEEDS TO MARRY SOMEONE

Lady Theodora Worth needs to marry fast in order to keep her estate. It’s been her heart and home for years, and she’ll not lose it to anyone. There’s just one problem—as a woman who was raised in isolation by her grandfather, she’s completely incapable of pouring a cup of tea, never mind wooing a man. She’ll need a little matchmaking help from her sprightly next-door neighbor in order to find a convenient husband…

IT’S JUST NOT GOING TO BE HIM

Lord William Cavensham’s heart was broken years ago, and since that day he vowed to never love again. But his spirited Great Aunt Stella is determined he’ll marry or not inherit a single penny from her. And she’s got just the woman in mind—her beautiful and completely hapless next-door neighbor, Thea…

Thea and Will agree there’s no sense in marrying each other. Will wholeheartedly believes he’s incapable of love, and Thea refuses to marry the first man she’s practically met. But Will may be the rogue Thea wants the most after all…


First Line:

“In one hour, I’m going to be a changed man.”

Rogue Most Wanted by Janna McGregor

As soon as I read the prologue for Rogue Most Wanted, I knew that I was going to be an emotional mess reading the book. My heart shattered for Will. The moment his heart broke, I burst into tears. I wanted to reach through my Kindle and hug him. I also wanted to smack Avalon for hurting him so bad.

The book continued pulling on my heartstrings when Thea was introduced. Her grandfather raised her in a small village that was far removed from London. She was never introduced to London’s ton. Instead of taking deportment/dancing lessons, she was learning how to run and manage her grandfather’s estates. While she was doing that, she was also hiding her grandfather’s condition from everyone, including his heir. Her grief was palpable. There were points in the book where I wanted to hug her too.

I also got angry while reading Rogue Most Wanted. I got upset every time I saw a quote from The Midnight Cryer. That “paper” took Thea’s grief and made a mockery of it. The insinuations and the nicknames were awful. I felt for Thea whenever she read that paper. Because who knows that they were going to print.

Thea and Will had an almost instant connection. I found it funny that Thea was the one to tell Will that she wasn’t going to marry him. Mainly because he was at her house to say the same thing. I loved seeing their friendship grow. It made the romantic connection stronger.

Speaking of their romance, I loved it. Will was instantly struck by Thea and vice versa. The world melted away when they were together. There was a point in the book where I wanted to bash my head against a wall because they wanted to be “just friends.”It drove me nuts.

The storyline about Thea and her quest to find the charter to prove that she was the rightful heir of her title was sad. And again, made me angry. She loved her people. She took care of them. Her grandfather’s heir wanted to move these people to another village and mine. I did think that it was forward thinking of the author to have Thea make a statement before the Council pleading her case. I also found it forward thinking that Thea didn’t want to marry or get engaged so that it would look good for her. She tried to win on her terms.

I was an emotional mess at the end of the book. Thea had to make a choice. No matter what she did, someone was going to get hurt. Will had to come to term with what happened to him in the past. They both needed a miracle so they could be together.


I would give Rogue Most Wanted an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Rogue Most Wanted. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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!!!

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

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

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride – Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky – Book 2

The Luck of the Bride – Book 3

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

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

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

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

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

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

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

My review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I liked about The Luck of the Bride:

A) Excellent romance

B) Fantastic storyline

C) 3D characters

What I disliked about The Luck of the Bride:

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

B) Cousin Rupert. He disgusted me.

C) McAlpin’s secret

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

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

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

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

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

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