Blog Tour: No Other Duke But You (Playful Brides: Book 11) by Valerie Bowman

No Other Duke But You: A Playful Brides Novel by [Bowman, Valerie]

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: April 30th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Playful Brides

The Unexpected Duchess—book 1

The Accidental Countess—book 2

The Unlikely Lady—book 3

The Irresistible Rogue—book 4

The Unforgettable Hero—book 4.5

The Untamed Earl—book 5

The Legendary Lord—book 6

Never Trust a Pirate—book 7

The Right Kind of Rogue—book 8

A Duke Like No Other—book 9 (review here)

Kiss Me at Christmas—book 10 (review here)

Mr. Hunt, I Presume—book 10.5

No Other Duke But You—book 11

Where you can find No Other Duke But You: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

SINGLE LADY SEEKS DUKE

Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause…

Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her…

Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along


My review:

Lady Delilah’s mother has issued her an ultimatum. She must get engaged by her next birthday. If she isn’t, Delilah will be forced to marry her mother’s suitor’s son. Delilah sets her sights on the most eligible bachelor in Society. But she doesn’t know that her best friend, Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, has his sights set on her. When Delilah buys a love potion to give to the duke, things go sideways. Will Delilah get the duke she wants? Or will she let the duke she needs slip out of her fingers?


The plot for No Other Duke But You was simple. Delilah had to marry within two months or get married to someone her mother picked out. This is a storyline that I have seen used over and over again. The author was able to freshen it up with memorable characters. Which I loved!!

The other major plotline was an interesting one. Thomas wanted Delilah to realize that she loved him. So, he decided to woo her. He also decided that she was going to use the potion on him. It was interesting to me because I hadn’t seen this done with a man before. So, it was interesting to see what a guy would have to go through to make the object of his affection fall for him. I liked it.


I loved Delilah. I connected with her on a personal level. I am that type of girl who drops food on my clothes, stumbles when I walk, and always says the wrong thing at the wrong time. I could see myself being besties with her. Her love of French, animals, Shakespeare, and pink roses were made a focal point in the book. What I didn’t like was her lack of self-esteem. Her interactions with that woman who birthed her (I refuse to call her a mother) hurt my heart.

I loved Thomas too. He couldn’t have been more perfect for Delilah. I could tell how he felt about her before this book. Ladies, listen up. How Thomas treated Delilah is how every woman should be treated. He loved her, faults and all. He supported her, even when she told him that she was trying to land a husband by her birthday. Of course, Thomas did have his issues. But, his issues were not the focus of the book. The author made it a point of letting the readers know that he turned himself around.

Delilah’s mother, I couldn’t stand. I have never disliked a fictional character more than I hated her. Everything she said to Delilah was disgusting. All I have to say is karma is a bitch, and she got hers at the end of the book.

I also would like to mention Lord Hilton’s son, Clarence. I felt terrible for him. It seemed like he was being used by his father like Delilah was being used by her mother. The couple of scenes he was in, I got a strong depression vibe from him. I mean, he stayed locked up in the house all day, with no personal interactions (other than the servants). His actions at the dinner only furthered that opinion.


No Other Duke But You was a perfect fit in the historical romance genre. The author did a fantastic job of keeping within the era it takes place. From the way the characters dressed to how they talked, it was a fit.

I loved that this book was a friend to lover romance. I liked that the author had the male in love with the female, instead of the other way around. It made for a refreshing read.

The sexual tension and chemistry were kept on the back burner until the middle of the book. The sparks started when Thomas and Delilah kissed. It stayed at sparks until they made out at the park. Then the sparks turned into flames.

I liked that the author had Delilah and Thomas’s sexual experiences towards the end of the book. If it had happened sooner, I fell that it would have taken away from the plotline. So, it was perfect the way it happened.

What I also liked was that Thomas was a virgin. I haven’t read a book where the main characters were both virgins. It made the sex scenes more poignant and sweet.


The end of No Other Duke But You was nothing short of amazing. I can’t get into what happened. All I will say is that it couldn’t be written better. I had tears in my eyes the entire last chapter, and my tears fell during the epilogue. All the storylines were wrapped up. There was no lag in the storylines. There were no dropped characters.

As I mentioned above, I cried during the epilogue. I cried because of what Cade said. I cried because this might be the ending of this series. I cried because I was an emotional mess after the last couple of chapters.


I would give No Other Duke But You an Adult rating. There is sex. There is no language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread No Other Duke But You. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

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


I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review No Other Duke But You.

All opinions stated in this review of No Other Duke But You are mine.


Have you read No Other Duke But You?

What are your thoughts?

Friends to lovers romances?

Like them or not?

Let me know!!

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Blog Tour: Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides: Book 10) by Valerie Bowman

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: October 30th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Playful Brides

The Unexpected Duchess–book 1

The Accidental Countess–book 2

The Unlikely Lady–book 3

The Irresistible Rogue–book 4

The Unforgettable Hero–book 4.5

The Untamed Earl–book 5

The Legendary Lord–book 6

Never Trust a Pirate–book 7

The Right Kind of Rogue–book 8

A Duke Like No Other–book 9 (review here)

Kiss Me at Christmas–book 10

No Other Duke But You–book 11 (expected publication date: April 30th, 2019)

Where you can find Kiss Me at Christmas: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become a bodyguard to the captivating woman…

Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?


My review:

Regina is determined to lose her virginity. At 30, she is considered on the shelf and has limited options for marriage. She wants to experience one night of passion. One night where she can experience what married women experience. She decides that Daffin Oakleaf would be more than able to fulfill her fantasy. Set back by his refusal, Regina soon finds herself back in his orbit when she becomes the target of an assassin. Can Daffin protect Regina from whoever is trying to kill her? Will he agree to be her lover for one night?

I am going to start this review off with the cover. Look at it. It shows Daffin and Regina’s chemistry off. What I also liked was the male model looked exactly how I thought Daffin would look. It is rarely I can say “Hey, look at this awesome cover. The models look like how I imagined.” So, yeah, the cover was a huge hit with me.

I was excited when I saw that Daffin was getting his own story. He caught my eye in A Duke Like No Other. I wanted to know his backstory and man, was it a sad one. I couldn’t even begin to imagine living through what he did and at such a young age. I liked how he fought his growing feelings for Regina. I loved him. He was everything that a romance novel hero should be.

I loved Regina. She was a woman who knew what she wanted. She put herself on the shelf because she couldn’t find a man who she couldn’t live without. But, she was going to marry the Earl of Dryden if she couldn’t find someone by the end of Christmas. Her reaction to Daffin’s explanation about why he hated Christmas was telling. She was unconventional. She was one of the more real romance characters I have read in a while.

The chemistry/sexual attraction that Regina and Daffin had been insane. I had noticed it when they were introduced in A Duke Like No Other. The author did a great job of carrying it over into this book. The fact that he could get turned on by her scent was awesome. As with her when she was in his presence.

That chemistry they had led to some hot sex scenes. Talk about fanning myself after a few of those scenes. Holy moly. I liked that the author wasn’t afraid to have Regina know what she liked. Such as Daffin’s handcuffs.

I was a little disappointed with the plotline about who was trying to kill Regina. Let me rephrase that. I was disappointed by the ending of it. It was left hanging. We know who it was and the reason (which was silly). But no resolution. I am hoping that it gets resolved in book 11 (yes, 11!!!)

The end of Kiss Me at Christmas was exactly what I hoped it would be. I was so mad at Regina’s great-uncle. I was whispering (because I was in bed) not so nice words when he did what he did. But, Regina set that straight when she found out. Oh boy, did she. The author did a great job of wrapping up all the secondary plotlines. The main plotline, not so much (see above). There was some foreshadowing about who the next book will be about.


I gave Kiss Me at Christmas a 4-star rating. This was a fun, sweet and sexy read. The plotlines were intriguing. The characters were well fleshed out and I loved them. I did not like how the main plotline ended but I am hopeful that it gets resolved in the next book. This is a great book!!

I would give Kiss Me at Christmas 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 also warn that some of the sex scenes do include light bondage (handcuffs).

I would reread Kiss Me at Christmas. 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 Kiss Me at Christmas.

All opinions stated in this review of Kiss Me at Christmas are mine.

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


Have you read Kiss Me at Christmas?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Blog Tour: A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides: Book 9) by Valerie Bowman

A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides, #9)

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Historical romance, romance

Series: Playful Brides

The Unexpected Duchess – Book 1

The Accidental Countess – Book 2

The Unlikely Lady – Book 3

The Irresistible Rouge – Book 4

The Unforgettable Hero – Book 4.5

The Untamed Earl – Book 5

The Legendary Lord – Book 6

Never Trust a Pirate – Book 7

The Right Kind of Rogue – Book 8

A Duke Like No Other – Book 9

Kiss Me at Christmas – Book 10 (expected publication date: October 30th, 2018)

Where you can find A Duke Like No Other: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

General Mark Grimaldi is devoted to his service for the Crown, risking his life and giving up everything for his career. The political promotion he’s always wanted is now within his reach, but he needs to convince his estranged wife to return to England and play the role of happy bride in order for him to get the position.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent the past ten years in France, not having seen her husband since she left England. But now he’s on her doorstep, asking her to return with him, and Nicole sees the opportunity to get something out of this deal. So she agrees, on one condition: she wants a baby.

A Duke Like No Other is a Regency spy caper with Valerie Bowman at her best as husband and wife match wits and may just fall in love in the process.

My review:

I love a good second chance romance. There is nothing like seeing two people separated by circumstances reuniting. So when I was approached to review A Duke Like No Other and I read the blurb, I accepted.

I enjoyed reading this book. I am a huge fan of Regency Era romances. Something about that period calls to me. I like that the women can be smart but get the man. I also like that the men were willing to do anything to prove that they loved their women. I loved that allure of the ton and the endless balls/functions that the Lords and Ladies attended. I loved the titles (I mean, hello Duke!!!) and the description of life back then. While I know it wasn’t at all easy, I enjoyed reading about that upper-class. My guilty pleasure.

I haven’t read any of the other books in this series. But if they are anything like A Duke Like No Other, I will be happy with them. I liked that while this book is in a series, you can read it as a stand-alone. I have a couple of pet peeves when I read books out-of-order from the series. I can’t stand it when I get a book that is like 254th in a series and it is taken over by the previous characters antics. Or when the author relies too much on the plotlines from the other books and leaves me going “What the heck is going on“. Fortunately for this book, none of what I mentioned happened. While the previous characters are mentioned and featured, they do not take over the plot.

I did like the main characters but I wish that the author came clean with why they broke up sooner. Instead, she let it leak, slowly, throughout the book. Seeing that I read these books on my Kindle, I can’t skip to the end. So reading the flashbacks drove me nuts. I was done with that part of the plot before it began.

I thought that Mark and Nicole needed a lesson in communication. While I agreed with why Mark being so upset with Nicole, it didn’t deserve a break-up. I also think that Nicole might have overreacted a bit when she moved to France. All they needed to do was talk and Mark would have gotten the entire story from Nicole instead of reading it in a letter from her mother.

I thought Mark had a huge chip on his shoulder. HUGE. It was his unwillingness to bend when it came to his mother’s family that left a bad taste in his mouth. He refused to acknowledge anyone. He was going to decline something that he shouldn’t have because of that chip. It wasn’t until the letters that he started to bend. But I did think it was going to be too late to make amends with his uncle and cousins.

I liked Nicole but like I mentioned above, I thought that it was silly that she ran to France to lick her wounds. I also thought that her condition to Mark’s request was a little odd. It wasn’t commonplace at that time for a woman, married or not, to raise a child on her own. And in France of all places. I also found her choice of profession a bit odd and at ends for the era. Not saying that it could have happened but it was very unlikely.

The chemistry and heat between Nicole and Mark were there. Oh, boy was it there. And the sex was hot. It was kind of dirty too. I liked that. I liked that Nicole knew what she wanted and she wasn’t afraid to let Mark know. I liked that Mark didn’t forget what turned Nicole on after 10 years. Like I said, the chemistry and heat between them were hot. I was surprised that my Kindle didn’t fog up.

I liked the mystery angle that was introduced halfway through the book. It made the plot more interesting and added some extra depth to the plot. I do have to laugh at Mark being jealous of Oakleaf. I giggled at that.

The end of the book was perfect. I was very surprised at who the murderer ended up being. It was the last person I thought it was. The author did a great job at casting red herrings all over the place to distract the reader. Of course, the part where Mark and Nicole get back together was the clincher of the book. I had tears in my eyes while reading it. And the epilogue. I couldn’t get over it!!

What I liked about A Duke Like No Other:

A) Regency England

B) Mark and Nicole’s romance

C) Second chance romance

What I disliked about A Duke Like No Other:

A) Took too long to disclose why Mark and Nicole broke up

B) Zero communication between Mark and Nicole

C) Mark’s huge chip on his shoulder

I would give A Duke Like No Other an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is mild violence. There is not any language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings for A Duke Like No Other.

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

Author Bio:

VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.

Summary:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.


Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today

“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews

“Smoldering.” —Booklist

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Books – A- Million

Indie Bound

Powells

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review A Duke Like No Other.

All opinions stated in this review of A Duke Like No Other are mine.

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