Weekly Wrap Up: November 24th through November 30th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Foul is Fair

The Look-Alike

Diamond City

Big Lies in a Small Town


Books with Pending Reviews:

Westering Women—Review coming January 7th, 2020

Forever My Duke—Review coming December 31st

The Glittering Hour—Review coming December 13th


Books with Published Reviews:

Weekend Fling—Review Here

A Cowboy Like You—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:


Author/Publisher Requests:

A Critical Tangent—Author Request


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Viper—Cover Reveal

All of Him Anthology—Book Blitz

Nix—Book Blitz

The Nigerian Prince—Book Blitz

Distant Memory—Book Blitz

Lace and Lies—Cover Reveal

Sword—Book Blitz

It Was Always You—Book Blitz

The Dirty Dozen: MC Edition—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: November 17th through November 23rd 2019

Books I’ve Read:

The Vanished Birds

The God Game

Finding Kyler

Westering Women

Forever My Duke


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Dead Girls Club—Review coming December 10th

Weekend Fling—Review coming November 26th

Thin Ice—Review coming December 3rd

A Cowboy Like You—review coming November 26th


Books with Published Reviews:

Twenty-one Truths About Love—Review Here

Win Big—Review Here

Into the Inferno—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

Dark Alpha’s Temptation


Author/Publisher Requests:


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

The Rule—Book Blitz

Tasting Her Christmas Cookies—Book Blitz

Freeing Eden—Book Blitz

Pinky Promises—Book Blitz

Alee—Book Blitz

Unravel You—Book Blitz

Two Thousand Lines—Book Blitz

Back to You This Christmas—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: September 8th through September 14th 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Requests,and Author/Publisher Requests will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

Holding On To Forever

Steel Crow Saga

The Girl the Sea Gave Back


Books with Pending Reviews:

Holding On To Forever— Review coming September 15th


Books with Published Reviews:

29 Seconds

The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Merlin’s Shakespeare

The Mercutio Problem


NetGalley Requests:

Forever My Duke


Author/Publisher/Blog Tour Review Requests:

Christmas in Harmony Harbor—(Forever/Grand Central Publishing)

A Cowboy Like You—Publisher Request (SMP)

Agent Jack—Publisher Request (SMP)


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Fangs and Frenemies—Book Blitz

Feather—Cover Reveal

Alee—Cover Reveal

Rites of Spring—Book Blitz

Submitting to Two Doms—Book Blitz

Married to the Lord—Book Blitz

Not Suitable for Work—Cover Reveal

Georgie’s Secret—Book Blitz

The Long Night: Blood Will Be Served—Book Blitz

Helix—Excerpt

Dope & Diamonds—Book Blitz

Until I Fall-–Book Blitz

Alec—Cover Reveal

Reluctant Heiress—Book Blitz

Shadow Caster—Book Blitz

The Last Huntsman—Book Blitz

Out of Bounds—Cover Reveal

The Minimalist Babe—Book Blitz

No More Bad Dates—Book Blitz

After We Met—Book Blitz

In Over Her Head—Book Blitz


Giveaways I’ve Entered:


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Catch Up Sunday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

Blog Tour: The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses: Book 1)

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

3.5 Stars

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

Date of publication: December 31st, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Unlikely Duchesses

The Duke I Once Knew—Book 1

Where you can find The Duke I Once Knew: Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Goodreads synopsis:

First love is always the sweetest. 

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

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


My review:

Abigail is at a crossroads in her life. Having been the caretaker for her elderly parents until their deaths the previous year, Abby wants to make a life on her own. She decides to apply for the position of governess at a nearby estate. Max was stunned when he saw that Abby was his sister’s governess. He had never gotten over her rejection of him 15 years earlier. But, he is drawn to her in a way that he isn’t drawn to most women. Will there be a chance at second-hand love? Or will Max slip through Abby’s fingers yet again?

I had mentioned in my WWW Wednesday post that I didn’t care for The Duke I Once Knew. When I had posted that, I was about 50% through the book. I wasn’t lying. I didn’t care for the book at that point. I did like the main characters and their storyline. I didn’t like the extra drama. Like I mentioned in that post, I just about lost my eyes because they were rolling so hard. Weirdly enough, I did like the last half of the book. All the drama was pushed to the back-burner and I got to enjoy the book for what it was. Abby and Max rediscovering each other.

I thought that Abby gave up a lot in her life. To take care of her parents, Abby gave up any chance of marriage. At 30, she was considered a spinster. And guess what, she was fine with that. What she wasn’t fine with was her brothers and sisters arguing about what to do with her. I didn’t blame her for deciding to go and apply for that governess position. Even though she thought that Max hated her, she still went and became his sister’s governess. I loved how sarcastic Abby was. Her zingers at Max had me laughing.

I liked Max even though I thought he was a tool. Who brings a woman he wants to seduces to a house he hasn’t been to in 15 years? Max does. But, for all his faults, he was a good guy. He went out of his way to help Abby when he shouldn’t have. He treated his house servants like family. He was willing to do the right thing by Abby when they had sex by the lake. He made hero status in my eyes with what he did with his wannabe mistress. I cheered when that happened.

I loved that this was a second chance romance. I liked seeing Abby and Max rediscover their romance. It was sweet. Second chance romances are some of my favorites to read. I like seeing people rediscover what made them fall in love. Of course, they had obstacles to overcome. Mainly the witch that Max brought home with him.

There was sex in this book. But what I liked was that it wasn’t graphic. The author left enough unsaid where I had to use my imagination. What I liked also was that Abby was comfortable enough in her own skin to own what happened. I liked that she didn’t want Max to offer for her because they bumped uglies. She wanted him to offer for her because he loved her. Not because he felt he was honor-bound because he popped her cherry.

I couldn’t stand Lady Desmond. She was a despicable human being. She was so jealous of Abby that she was willing to hurt her to take her out of the picture. She was also willing to put Max’s younger sister in situations that young women shouldn’t be in. And with people that they should be around. I was wondering if Max was ever going to come to his senses about her. I was disappointed it took almost the entire book for him to actually do something.

I didn’t like the end of the book. It seemed rushed. I didn’t like how Abby jumped to conclusions about Lady Desmond and Max. It went against everything that I had read about their relationship. It also ended suddenly. There was the HEA and then nothing. I was expecting an epilogue or something that showed what happened after the “I love you” was said. Also, seeing that this was book 1 in the Unlikely Duchesses series, I couldn’t pinpoint who the next story was about? Was it Abby’s niece? Or Max’s sister? Again, usually, there is a hint about who the next book is about.


I gave The Duke I Once Knew a 3.5-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book but it fell flat for me in some areas. I loved how Abby was an independent woman in an era where a woman was expected to be seen but not heard. It was the extra drama involving Lady Desmond that lowered my rating. While it did add some depth, I felt that her storyline went on for too long. Other than that, I enjoyed the book.

I would give The Duke I Once Knew an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is no language. There are triggers. They would be suicide. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Duke I Once Knew. 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 The Duke I Once Knew.

All opinions stated in this review of The Duke I Once Knew are mine.

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


Have you read The Duke I Once Knew?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Excerpt: The Duke I Once Knew

Excerpt

The sounds of cooing and kissing mortified her. Good heavens, would they never stop? Anyone might walk into the library! They ought to have the decency to take their amorous activities upstairs to a bedchamber. 

But, of course, Rothwell did not possess a shred of decency. It made her cringe to recall that she herself had once fallen prey to his allure.

She risked another look over the edge of the table. Her eyes goggled.

The duke was delving beneath the hem of his paramour’s gown, sliding his hand up her ankle and out of sight. The ladybird squirmed and squealed in a frisky attempt at evasion. He leaned down and silenced her playful protests with a masterful kiss.

Abby sank back down again. Her pulse pounded and a blush heated her inside and out. She oughtn’t be so scandalized.  Rothwell had a reputation as a notorious rake. Over the years, she had heard many a tale whispered among the neighbors of his disgraceful doings. Yet it was one thing to listen to idle gossip and quite another to actually witness him in the throes of depravity.


And here she was, trapped. What was she to do? If she made her presence known, the duke would find out that Miss Abigail Linton was the new governess. She could not be absolutely certain that he had forgotten her. And if he did remember, he surely would dismiss her on the spot, for he wanted nothing to do with her.

Her spirits fell into a fit of the dismals. That would mark the end of her little adventure out into the world. Oh, she could apply for a position elsewhere, but who would hire her if she’d been summarily discharged from her previous post? She would be forced to return to her brother’s house and resume her predictable life as the maiden aunt, growing withered and gray, shuttled between relatives, with no real say in her future.

THE DUKE I ONCE KNEW 35


The very thought was suffocating. Nevertheless, she could not continue to crouch here while the two lovers were smooching and whispering. What if their intimate activities escalated? What if they did the deed right here, right now?


The horrid prospect spurred Abby to action. She must try to sneak out of the library unobserved. It was her only hope. Dropping to her hands and knees, she crept along the carpet, weaving a path between the tables. Her long skirts
hampered her progress, forcing her to inch along at a snail’s pace. Rothwell’s black boots were visible through a forest
of chair legs. At least he was too distracted to notice her, judging by the amorous sounds emanating from across the
room. To be safe, she made a wide berth around the couple. Feverish plans raced through her head. If only she could
reach the door and slip out, then all might be well. Perhaps she could convince Lady Gwendolyn not to mention the new governess to her brother. And what of Lady Hester? Was there a chance that she could be persuaded to bide her tongue, too? Should Abby confess the truth and enlist her help? Was it possible to stay out of sight until he departed the Court?


Sweet heaven, how long did he intend to stay?


In the midst of her meditations, she couldn’t help overhearing the syrupy drivel of their tête-à-tête.


“Your Grace, you are too bold! Such a naughty boy you are!”


“I left boyhood behind long ago. Shall I demonstrate?”


“Mm, no. You mustn’t . . . ah, yes. Yes!”


Abby grimaced under a tide of acute embarrassment. As she crawled closer to the door, she glared in the direction of the lovers. She could just see Rothwell’s legs pressed against a froth of cream skirts. Blast him and his debauchery! He was the worst of rogues, the king of scoundrels. A more wicked man had never been born—!


Too caught up in remonstrations to watch where she was going, Abby bumped her hip hard against a mahogany pedestal. A little squeak escaped before she could clap her hand to her mouth. At the same instant, a faint clanking noise drew her attention upward.

The globe atop the pedestal wobbled precariously. As she watched in horror, the sphere toppled from its perch and clunked onto the floor, where it rolled straight past the chairs and tables to land at Rothwell’s heels.


“What the devil—!”


Frozen in concealment, Abby watched wide-eyed through the maze of table legs as his boots shifted around. A large male hand flashed down to stop the spinning of the globe. Any faint hope that he might assume it had fallen of its own accord vanished in a millisecond.


Rothwell strode forward, his footfalls sharp and decisive. He came straight to her. To her great consternation, she found herself gazing at the polished black leather of his boots only a few inches away.


“Who are you?” he demanded. “What are you doing in here?”


Abby raised her chin only slightly, keeping her face averted. It was best that he didn’t gaze fully at her—or hear the normal pitch of her voice lest it trigger his memory.


“I’m just a servant,” she whispered, “tending to my duties.”


“Speak up! Why did you not make your presence known at once?”


His dictatorial tone shredded her better judgment.

“I was trying to leave discreetly,” she flared. “It didn’t strike
me as wise to interrupt your tryst.”

She paused, then added in a more servile tone, “I do beg your pardon, Your Grace.” She felt his gaze boring down like a physical force that threatened to smother her. She wanted badly to look up, to glare into his face and tell him in no uncertain terms
exactly what she thought of him. But that would be highly imprudent.

With lightning swiftness, he clamped his hands around her upper arms and hauled Abby to her feet. She found herself staring up into a pair of wintry gray eyes set in a face of unabashed masculinity. Although a dissipated life had hardened his expression and etched faint lines on either side of his mouth, he was more disturbingly handsome than ever. He also seemed taller and tougher, his chest broader and his shoulders wider.


She hated that he still had the power to make the breath catch in her throat. Worse, she hated that he had the authority to dismiss her with a snap of his arrogant fingers. As she racked her beleaguered brain for a way to convince him not to do so, something flickered in those icy eyes.


“Abby?”


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Award-winning author Olivia Drake begins her new Unlikely Duchesses series with THE DUKE I ONCE KNEW (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; December 31, 2018). With compelling characters and skillful plot twists, Drake’s latest novel will take your breath away.


First love is always the sweetest…


For years, Abigail Linton devoted herself to caring for her parents and her siblings’ children. Now, eager to create a life of her own, Abby seizes upon a position as a governess on a neighboring estate. Unfortunately, her absentee employer is Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell, the notorious rake who once broke her youthful heart. But since he hasn’t set foot on his estate for fifteen years, Abby assumes she’ll never have to lay eyes on him ever again.


Then, from out of nowhere, Max appears. He is stunned to come face to face with the girl next door he fell for years ago—before he went away, and she stopped writing to him …even though Abby swears that he is the one who left her without a word. Could it be that this spirited, witty spinster has won Max’s heart all over again and that they may have a second chance at love?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Olivia Drake is the author of the Cinderella Sisterhood series (Seducing the Heiress, Never Trust a Rogue, Scandal of the Year, If the Slipper Fits, Stroke of Midnight, Abducted by the Prince, Bella and the Beast, His Wicked Wish, and The Scandalous Flirt).

She has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1981 and her novels have won the Golden Heart Award, Best Historical Romantic Suspense and Best Regency Historical from Romantic Times. She has also won the prestigious RITA award. She currently resides in Houston, TX.


Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250174376


Author website: http://oliviadrake.com/


Author Twitter: @OliviaDrake1


Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Olivia-Drake-186133368670/


SMP Romance Twitter: @SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts


SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/

Weekly Wrap Up: November 25th through December 1st 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

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

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Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2)

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

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

An Anonymous Girl—review coming January 8th, 2019

An Anonymous Girl

White Stag—review coming January 9th, 2019

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Duke I Once Knew—review coming December 31st, 2018

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

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

Perfectly Inappropriate—review here

Perfectly Inappropriate

The Good, The Bad, and The Duke—review here

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

Rend—review here

Rend (Riven, #2)

Foam on the Crest of Waves—review here

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

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

Keep Her Close

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

The House of Fire and Rain (Firemountain Chronicles, #2)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 18th through November 24th 2018

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

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

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

Perfectly Inappropriate

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

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

Perfectly Inappropriate—review coming November 27th, 2018

Perfectly Inappropriate

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke—review coming November 27th, 2018

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

Rend—review coming November 27th, 2018

Rend (Riven, #2)

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

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

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

Zero Front Medium Resolution.jpg

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday