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

WWW Wednesday: November 21st, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

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


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

I am in prep mode for Thanksgiving. BK and I have prepped most of the food for tomorrow (except the turkey breast and ham). We are having carrots and turnips, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Dessert is pumpkin and Dutch apple pie. Besides Thanksgiving, I am celebrating two birthdays. Mr. Z turned 11 yesterday and Miss B is turning 13 on Saturday.

Miss R had her Thanksgiving Feast last Friday at her preschool. She loved it. She goes to a private, church-based preschool and they have it catered (which is included in with the tuition. Also included, art museum lessons, a storyteller, and something called stretch and grow). So, the kids got turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce (or the yucky stuff as she calls it). She loved it. The teachers had the kids make special shirts for Thanksgiving. The 3’s class dressed up as Pilgrims and I am going to assume that Miss R’s class (the 4’s) were the Native Americans.

I also got a new phone as an early Christmas present. I got an LG Stylo 4 plus a very cool case. I was not expecting it. I had a Moto 6 before that and didn’t like it. It kept rebooting on me. All the freaking time. I was a huge LG fan before my last phone and I don’t think I won’t ever get another brand again…lol. Also (and yes, I am nerding out here for a minute), I got a new World of Warcraft calendar for 2019. What excited me the most about this calendar is that it shows the scenes from the events leading up to the World Tree burning. Everything from Jaina’s journey to Arthas turning Sylvanas to the Tree burning. I won’t lie. I squeed like a fangirl when I got it. BK just shook his head when he saw heard me.

Reading:

I am in a good place readingwise. I have caught up with all of my reviews that were past due (there were quite a few). My next project is to whittle down my books on NetGalley. And I am going to try to read some of my books on my TBR list. I have been slowly adding books from my Amazon TBR to Goodreads.


What I am currently reading:

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

click on the picture for Amazon link

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 appear 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?

I am not liking this book. I am about halfway through it and I keep eye-rolling and/or shaking my head. I am hoping that it gets better. Or at least a couple of characters leave (and not the main ones). The expected publication date for this book is December 31st, 2018. My review should be on or after that date.


What I recently finished reading:

Perfectly Inappropriate

click on the picture for Amazon link

A woman scorned and a politician with a wild side connect online—and explore their hottest fantasies in the flesh.

Olivia Watts knows that her problems are painfully average. She got engaged, and her fiancé cheated. She gave up on her dream job—street photographer—and settled on a more practical one: graphic designer. She scrimped and saved to buy a home, only to realize how empty it was. So when Olivia hears about an exclusive dating app that matches subs with highly trained doms, she does something she never thought she’d do in a million years: She signs up. The last thing she expects to find is a man whose sizzling touch reawakens the woman she used to be. . . .

Noah Grant has no time for relationships. His sole purpose is to win reelection. That’s why he pays a premium to the discreet app that satisfies all his dark desires. But after sweet, innocent Olivia is vetted and arrives for their week together in his penthouse, it’s blatantly clear that she’s running from her demons. Noah’s more than willing to be her escape—until their emotions get tangled up in their games. Now, to become worthy of Olivia’s heart, Noah will have to prove that he’s more than a fantasy.

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. There are BDSM and erotica in this book but the author was able to weave a story in with that element. It ended up being a very sweet story about finding one’s self again. Perfectly Inappropriate’s expected publication date is November 27th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review on or after that date.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

Can facing the past transform the present?

In a small fishing town on the Mendocino coast, the tides of time have washed over rumors and suspicions, yet the members of a maimed family still struggle to cope with their memories. 

A broken woman, refusing to let go of her vanished husband.
Her widowed brother, clinging to the shatters of the life he loved.
His delusional daughter, planning to turn mermaid on her fifteenth birthday. 

But when a young man realizes he made a mistake, secrets start emerging from the deep. Will they bring further grief, or possibly redemption?

I read the blurb and I knew I had to review this book. Plus, look at the cover. It is beautiful. Hoping that this book is as good as I have built it up to be in my mind.

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

This book sounds like it is fantastic. I have read a couple of books about the Goblin King but they were romances. Those books also didn’t deal with the citizens of the Goblin King’s world. I am super excited to read this book and be on the blog tour!!

An Anonymous Girl

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller, The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

I was beyond thrilled when I got accepted to review this book. I had read The Wife Between Us and loved it. So, I am hoping that An Anonymous Girl is as good as that book!!

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

An action-packed, compelling historical fantasy, from the pen of an award-winning author

The battle-scarred warrior princess Bluebell, the heir to her father’s throne, is rumoured to be unkillable. So when she learns of a sword wrought specifically to slay her by the fearsome raven king, Hakon, she sets out on a journey to find it before it finds her. The sword is rumoured to be in the possession of one of her four younger sisters. But which one? Scattered as they are across the kingdoms, she sets out on a journey to find them.

Her four sisters all have their own paths to tread, the gifted magician Ash is on a journey to find a dragon that could determine her destiny. The beautiful, unhappy Rose has left her undermagician Aunt and is speeding to the aid of her daughter, Rowan, who has been lost to her. Ivy, sold into marriage for the sake of an alliance, is now set to become the ruling Duchess of Seacaster with the imminent death of her much older and sick husband, and the power-hungry Willow is raising her infant child as a potential trimartyr king and training to be a warrior for the fanatical religious order Maava.

From the wild rocky coastline to granite-topped tors, from bustling harbours to echoing ghost towns, from halls of kings to ancient primal woodlands, this story follows five sisters upon whose actions kingdoms will rise and fall.

Another book that I had been waiting for. I had read the first book and enjoyed it. I am hoping that this book is as good as the first one.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

WWW Wednesday: November 14th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

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


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

Nothing much. Because of no school on Monday (because of Veteran’s Day), I am off a day. I keep thinking that today is Tuesday. That meant I almost forgot to put out my trash last night (trash is Wednesdays here). I am in Thanksgiving prep mode here. We have the ham and turkey breast bought (ahead of time, which is a miracle for us). I am in the process of trying to figure out the sides, other than stuffing and potatoes. I am also in birthday mode. Mr. Z’s birthday is the 20th and Miss B’s is the 24th. Which means that they are 1 year apart for 4 days. It used to drive Miss B nuts when she was younger. She was convinced that Mr. Z would eventually grow older than her…lol.

Reading:

I am finally caught up with my reading. Which is a miracle considering that I had almost no time to do things this weekend. As for reviews, I will be caught up after today. Happy dance!!


What I am currently reading:

Accidents Happen

click on the picture for Amazon link

Tabitha was a true survivor – until she wasn’t. One week before her loveless marriage to a wealthy man, a freak accident causes her soul to trade places with a womanising lush paying penance for his sins as a soul collector. While she waits for Death to unravel the bureaucratic red-tape and return her to her life, she’s forced to take on Mort’s duties, accompanied by the sexiest but rudest man she’s ever met. 

Cooper was a bank manager until his demise, and he’s got a lot of making up to do. He’s determined to be the best damn soul collector heav…he…Death has ever seen. Saddled with baby-sitting the soul of a selfish, amoral airhead, he’s determined to teach her a lesson.

Can Tabitha convince Death to switch her back before her wedding and her reputation are ruined? Will Cooper make her see the error of her ways? Or will Fate have the last laugh and teach them all a lesson in love?

I started reading this last night, as BK was playing Battlefield 4. By the middle of the 1st paragraph, I was giggling. I didn’t get much further but I am hoping that the book delivers on its promise. Very promising start, though!!


What I recently finished reading:

What About Us (Panic, #4)

Click on the picture for Amazon link

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

I have read and reviewed the other 3 books in the Panic series. So, I had high expectations for this book. It didn’t fail me. Not going to go into it (the book will be published November 20th) but I loved this book. Be on the lookout for my review on or after the publication date.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

Rend (Riven, #2)

After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings.

Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.

Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but when they meet, their chemistry is incendiary. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt finds himself living a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels like home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.

When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they’re going to make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it really will be forever.

I had read, reviewed and loved Riven. So when I saw the Rend was up for review, I snapped it up. I am pretty excited to read it!!!

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

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?

The title drew me in for this book. I love it when titles reference movies/songs. I had also liked the other book in the series. So, we’ll see how I like it.


Perfectly Inappropriate

A woman scorned and a politician with a wild side connect online—and explore their hottest fantasies in the flesh.

Olivia Watts knows that her problems are painfully average. She got engaged, and her fiancé cheated. She gave up on her dream job—street photographer—and settled on a more practical one: graphic designer. She scrimped and saved to buy a home, only to realize how empty it was. So when Olivia hears about an exclusive dating app that matches subs with highly trained doms, she does something she never thought she’d do in a million years: She signs up. The last thing she expects to find is a man whose sizzling touch reawakens the woman she used to be. . . .

Noah Grant has no time for relationships. His sole purpose is to win reelection. That’s why he pays a premium to the discreet app that satisfies all his dark desires. But after sweet, innocent Olivia is vetted and arrives for their week together in his penthouse, it’s blatantly clear that she’s running from her demons. Noah’s more than willing to be her escape—until their emotions get tangled up in their games. Now, to become worthy of Olivia’s heart, Noah will have to prove that he’s more than a fantasy.

I am not normally a fan of erotica or BDSM. But when the blurb, I thought the story was a good one. After reading the reviews, I can’t wait to read the book!!


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

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 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 appear 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?

I like second chance love stories. Add in that this is a historical romance. So, yeah. I had to read it. I am hoping that I absolutely love it!!


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Weekly Wrap Up: September 23rd through September 29th

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

The Rain Watcher

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

A Spark of Light

 

Mr. Nice Guy

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

A True Cowboy Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman’s Secret—review coming January 9th, 2019

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review here

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review here

The Ancient Nine—review here

The Ancient Nine

Mr. Nice Guy—review coming October 16th

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review coming September 26th

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

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

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

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

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

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

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday