Weekly Wrap Up: May 26th through June 1st 2019

Clicking on the link under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the link under Books with Pending Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on the link under Freebies I Scored (which were free at the time I got them. I will also say where I got them from.).


Books I’ve Read:

The Right Sort of Man

Crown of Contempt

Professor with Benefits

The Earl Next Door

Books with published reviews:

Professor with Benefits—review here

The Earl Next Door—review here

Smitten by the Brit—review here

Attracted to the Earl—review here

Books with Pending Reviews

Crown of Contempt—review coming June 3rd, 2019

Attracted to the Earl—review coming May 28th, 2019

NetGalley Haul:

In It To Win It

Steel Crow Saga

Campusland

Email Haul:

Lost and Love: Thailand

Professor with Benefits

Glory Bishop

Freebies I Scored:

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

She’s a Spitfire—Excerpt (coming July 1st, 2019)

Crossing Realms—Cover Reveal

The Earl Next Door—Blog Tour

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

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WWW Wednesday: May 29th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

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


Personal:

Miss R: Things have been going good with her. This is her last week of preschool. I am feeling a little sad but at the same time excited for her. She’s starting a whole new chapter in her life by going to Kindergarten. Her school is going all out this week. No school on Monday, park yesterday (in 95 degree heat), pizza party today, graduation tomorrow, and water day on Friday. She has a packed week. She also had her last T-ball game yesterday. Again, in 93 degree heat. Poor kid got a burn even though I used a ton of sunblock on her. Oh, and I almost forgot. She got her ears pierced on Friday. She was so proud and loves her earrings.

Miss B: She had her last band concert last Thursday. BK went because Miss R had a T-ball game (we divided and conquered). EOG’s are this week and Miss B’s anxiety has been through the roof. Seeing that she exceeded her goals (she went from 5th grade to almost grade level in reading and math), we told her “You got this.” Still, she was nervous and took it out on us…sigh.

Mr. Z: His mouth is healing. I check it daily. Other than that, he is doing fine. He has EOG’s this week too. Reading is today. In the mock tests, he got a 100% on it (which is a 5 here). I know he will rock it!! He has discovered Percy Jackson and has asked me if I could order him the first two books in the series. He is also wanting more books in the Artemis Fowl series (I think he has 4??). When BK gets paid on Friday, I’m ordering him the books. He has kept an A average the entire school year.

Me: We have rabbits in the garden. 2 of them. And they are eating my cabbage. I am going to borrow a humane trap from my friend and catch them. Then release them somewhere far away from my garden. I have started watching Legion on Hulu. This show is interesting and a tad bit disturbing. We are on (BK is watching too) season 2 and I can’t wait to see what David will do!!

Reading/Reviews/Blog:

I read nothing on my ” books I think I will read next” section from last week. After my kerfuffle with missing a blog tour date, I triple checked everything. And guess what, I was close missing a few tours. So, I changed things around, put those books first and have been reading my fool head off.

As for reviews (other than blog tour stuff), I am pretty much caught up. I am going to be behind on a couple of books, because I had to switch things around. But, I can deal with it.

I have put the kibosh on requesting books on NetGalley. I have 27 books on backlog. On top of that, I have books through email request to read. I need to get my backlog down. So no more for me. Of course, I will still be accepting publisher/author requests through email.


What I am currently reading:

Professor with Benefits (Beta Brothers #3)
There is no link to Amazon yet

Sadie’s no princess, and she doesn’t appreciate being treated like one. As far as she’s concerned, women who don’t wear ridiculous shoes don’t need to be swept off their feet, and the last thing the world needs right now is one more hopeless romantic maiming one more unsuspecting daisy.

But when a handsome, young professor takes an unprofessional interest in her mossy green eyes and muddy attitude, she can’t help but enjoy the sparkly feeling his attention stirs in her. And the more he lays on the charm, the more she fears she’s not as attached to her loneliness as she once thought. 

Too bad he’s off limits. Then again, limits have never really interested Sadie.

But dreamy professors with penetrating blue eyes and sinfully sexy stubble? That’s a subject that’s about to make her senior year very interesting indeed… 

*This standalone romance is full of sass and steam. Perfect for readers who like spirited characters willing to risk everything for love.*


I recently finished reading:

The Earl Next Door (First Comes Love Book 1) by [Grey, Amelia]

What does a Wickedly Wonderful Widow really want? One noble suitor is about to find out. . .

Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, is all on her own after her husband’s sudden death. The good news? Losing him allowed her to find herself. Finally, Adeline is free to do, go, and be as she pleases. She cherishes her newfound independence and is not looking for another man to wed. But seeking out a new lover? Well, that is a whole ’nother story. . .

Lord Lyon, son of the two-timing Earl of Marksworth, wishes to have a respectable, loving wife someday. When he meets the beautiful and self-reliant Adeline, Lyon is instantly smitten. But Adeline would rather have the handsome suitor in her bed than to take his hand in marriage. It’s a scandalous proposal—and one that’s hard for Lyon to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve. . .and he can find a way to be the Wickedly Wonderful Widow’s lover for all time?


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

Crown of Contempt (The Novi Navarro Chronicles Book 2) by [Cannaday, Emigh]

book 2 of the Novi Navarro Chronicles

The Right Sort of Man by [Montclair, Allison]

First comes love, then comes murder. 

In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair–The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independence and do some good in a rapidly changing world.

But the promising start to their marriage bureau is threatened when their newest client, Tillie La Salle, is found murdered and the man arrested for the crime is the prospective husband they matched her with. While the police are convinced they have their man, Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge are not. To clear his name–and to rescue their fledging operation’s reputation–Sparks and Bainbridge decide to investigate on their own, using the skills and contacts they’ve each acquired through life and their individual adventures during the recent war.

Little do they know that this will put their very lives at risk.

Waltz of the Crows (Steam and Shadow Novel Book 3) by [Rollins, L.]

Leila Hale’s orders are clear: impersonate a nurse, make contact with her fellow spy, and get London the information it needs without being caught or killed; or worse, tripping up so horribly her superiors deem her incompetent.

Samuel Rowley has returned to find his hometown disease-ridden, with many on the brink of madness. Not a man to sit back and merely hope for the best, he determines to explore every resource available until he finds a solution. 

Together, Leila and Samuel sort out the relevant from the distractions and tease truth from lies. But as they uncover various secrets, it becomes evident that this insanity isn’t a disease at all, but a meticulously infiltrated poisoning; and the perpetrator has them in their sights.

When all is made known, will Leila and Samuel have enough wit and strength to save themselves, their future, and a town full of innocent victims?

Waltz of the Crows is Book 3 in the Steam and Shadow Series; all books in this series are stand-alone and can be read in any order. Waltz of the Crows is a Victorian Era Steampunk (think Woman in White but with cool gadgets) bundled up with a cozy mystery and sweet romance. Perfect for lovers of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval.

28 Dates (Crazy Love Book 3) by [Lynn, Stacey]

In the age of apps and social media, how many dates does it take to find “the one”? The author of Knocked Up and Fake Wife swipes right on love with a captivating friends-to-lovers tale.

Caitlin Pappas is a lifelong commitment-phobe. The closest thing she’s had to a relationship in the last few years was a friends-with-benefits thing that fizzled out because the guy wanted more. So when she and her best friend design a new app that promises to find “the one” in 28 Dates, Caitlin is the perfect guinea pig. Little does she know that she may have already met her match. . . .

Jonas Reeves has tried his best to move on after Caitlin didn’t want take things to the next level. Now they really are just friends . . . without benefits. Caitlin’s even a regular at his bar, The Dirty Martini. But when he learns that Caitlin plans to beta-test a new dating app on his home turf, Jonas senses a golden opportunity to win her heart. Even if he has to slide into her DMs to do it. . . .

Glory Bishop by [King, Deborah L.]

Glory Bishop lives her life in pieces. At work and with her friends, she reads novels, speaks her mind, and enjoys slow dances and stolen kisses with her boyfriend, JT. But at home, Glory follows strict rules and second-guesses every step. Though she dreams of going to college and living like a normal teenage girl, her abusive mother has other ideas.

When JT leaves to join the navy, Glory is left alone and heartsick. The preacher’s son, Malcolm Porter, begins to shower her with lavish gifts, and her mother pushes Glory to accept his advances. Glory is torn between waiting for true love with JT or giving in to the overzealous Malcolm.

When a stranger attacks Glory on the street, Malcolm steps in to rescue her, and her interest in him deepens. But the closer she gets to him, the more controlling he becomes. Glory must eventually decide whether to rely on others or to be her own savior.

Once Upon a Bad Boy: A Sometimes in Love Novel by [Johnson, Melonie]

NEVER SAY NEVER
Sadie Gold is ready to take her career to the next level with the role of a lifetime. Finally, she can shake her reputation as a pretty face with more wealth and connections than talent. But Sadie is not prepared for the wild turn her own life is about to take. The man in charge of training Sadie for her most demanding role yet is none other than her first real boyfriend—the one who took her heart and ran away.

WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE
Bo Ibarra is as good-looking and irresistible as ever. Maybe even more so, now that everything once worked against them—Sadie’s pampered and privileged upbringing and Bo’s childhood in a family struggling to make ends meet—is in the past. But the future is still unwritten…and getting there, together, means coming clean about painful secrets and slashing through nasty tabloid rumors while trying to control the attraction that crackles between them. Maybe it’s finally time for them to walk off into the sunset and into a true and lasting love?

Twisted Family Values: A Novel by [Chickering, V.C.]

An unpredictable and entertaining tale of secrets, desires, and forgiveness spanning four generations of an American family. 

In WASPy Larkspur, New Jersey, social expectations and decorum rule, and Marjorie and Dunsfield Thornden are the envy of their neighbors. Their daughters Claire and Cat set the small town’s social calendar by throwing tastefully lavish family parties year round. Because it’s 1977, underage debauchery is to be expected—and Cat and Claire’s children, Bizzy and Choo, are at its very center. 

Underneath their well-maintained veneer, the Thorndens are quite dysfunctional, but have always had their entitlement to fall back on. And while some are finally ready to accept what they’re willing to give up for the life that they think they deserve, secrets that should’ve never been kept—especially not from each other—are bubbling unattractively to the surface.

So when a scandal threatens to unravel this tight-lipped family and their secrets, the Thorndens will have to decide how much they’ll let decorum rule social mores dictate their decisions and how far they’ll go to keep some secrets just that. Any choice they make could mean freedom from expectations but will change the course of their family’s legacy forever.

Blog Tour: The Earl Next Door (First Comes Love: Book 1) by Amelia Grey

The Earl Next Door (First Comes Love Book 1) by [Grey, Amelia]

3.5 Stars

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

Date of publication: May 28th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: First Comes Love

The Earl Next Door—Book 1

Where to find The Earl Next Door: Amazon | Barnes and Noble |BookBub

Book synopsis:

What does a Wickedly Wonderful Widow really want? One noble suitor is about to find out. . .

Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, is all on her own after her husband’s sudden death. The good news? Losing him allowed her to find herself. Finally, Adeline is free to do, go, and be as she pleases. She cherishes her newfound independence and is not looking for another man to wed. But seeking out a new lover? Well, that is a whole ’nother story. . .

Lord Lyon, son of the two-timing Earl of Marksworth, wishes to have a respectable, loving wife someday. When he meets the beautiful and self-reliant Adeline, Lyon is instantly smitten. But Adeline would rather have the handsome suitor in her bed than to take his hand in marriage. It’s a scandalous proposal—and one that’s hard for Lyon to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve. . .and he can find a way to be the Wickedly Wonderful Widow’s lover for all time?


My review:

I am going to do this review in a different style today. I am going to list the pros and cons (with explanations). I have done reviews like this in the past. I have found that I can get my thoughts across better this way. It is up in the air if this review style will become a permanent thing.

Pro’s of The Earl Next Door

  1. It is set in Regency England. I am a massive fan of historical romances set in that period. I love being able to imagine going to balls, eating by candlelight, and being courted.
  2. Adeline’s independence. What I liked is that the author chose to have her independence be true to the era. While she could do what she wanted, she still had to observe the tons’ social dictations.
  3. Lyon. While he was a typical Regency romance hero, he did stand out to me. He had a strong moral code (which was explained in the book). As weird as this sounds, he also didn’t have a mistress. Usually, in these books, the male main character is ending a relationship with a mistress, or he is considering one. Not Lyon. It was refreshing to read.
  4. Adeline and Lyon’s initial relationship. I loved it!!! From the minute he asked her if she was running a brothel, I knew this relationship was going to be a good one. She put Lyon in his place several times. My favorite one? Well, when she walked into his house, soaking wet, and proceeded to tell him and every other man there off. I slow clapped at the end of that scene.

Con’s of The Earl Next Door

  1. Adeline’s backstory. While it wasn’t the most tragic one I have read, it struck a nerve with me. When everything was revealed, she put through a lot by her late husband. I could understand why she felt the way she felt later on in the book.
  2. Lyon’s father. He grated on my nerves. Every single scene he was in, I wanted to erase him, he annoyed me that bad. For someone who has been married three times and was engaged to be married again, he didn’t have the right to push marriage on anyone.
  3. Adeline and Lyon after they had sex. I did like that Adeline didn’t want to get married. I liked that she tried to keep it simple. I also liked that Lyon was the one pushing marriage. But, after the first few interchanges, I started to get annoyed.
  4. The end of the book. I was underwhelmed by it. It was predictable. Everything that took place after Nora arrived at Adeline’s house I predicted. Even the epilogue I didn’t like.

Conclusion of The Earl Next Door

I started off liking The Earl Next Door. It was in my favorite romance era, Regency England. I enjoyed that the author chose to make Adeline as independent as she could for that era. I loved Lyon and thought his character was a refreshing change. Adeline and Lyon’s relationship, for the first half of the book, was excellent.

The book started going downhill for me after Lyon and Adeline had sex. Their relationship became a power struggle. He wanted to marry her, and she didn’t want too. I did wish that Adeline’s entire backstory was revealed earlier in the book. I could not stand Lyon’s father. The end of the book was disappointing to me. It became too predictable. Even the epilogue, which I enjoy, was “meh.” But, saying that, I do want to read book 2!!


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

I am on the fence if I would reread The Earl Next Door. I am also on the fence about recommending it to family and friends.

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

WWW Wednesday: May 22nd, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

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


Personal:

Miss R: She is finally better!! No more medication (finished the eye drops for pink eye on Saturday and the amoxicillin on Monday). She is back to her sassy 5 year old self. She has been busy also. Movies and field day at school. T-Ball games and trip to Carowinds. Plus we opened our pool. She crashes at night. Asleep within minutes of being put to bed. Which is a good thing!!

Miss B: She had a whirlwind week last week. I ended up taking her to the Dr last Thursday because she was complaining of ear pain. She ended up having an ear infection. Friday, she had her semi formal dance. I do have a picture of her dressed up but it is on my private FB page. I will say that she looked adorable!! Saturday, she went on a trip with band and orchestra to Carowinds. They preform for judges there and then are set loose in the park for the rest of the day. Since BK, Miss R, and Mr. Z were there, we got blessed with her presence for all of 5 mins….lol. Sunday, she helped put up the pool.

Mr Z: His week was pretty laid back until yesterday. Yesterday, I took him to get 4 teeth pulled (two molars on each side of his upper jaw). His baby teeth are not falling out. Because of that, he has 4 teeth on each side of his mouth trying to come out in one spot (the x rays are insane to look at). He was in pain yesterday. And he looked like a chipmunk (his cheeks swelled up). Today, he is doing better but his mouth is still hurting him.

Me: I had a quite week after the drama last week. I have been hanging out with Miss R outside. The only bump in the road was taking Mr. Z to get his teeth pulled. I am enjoying this because next week I’m back to running around like crazy again.

Reading/Reviews/Blog:

I didn’t read everything in my “books I think I will read next” section of last week’s WWW Wednesday. I was so close. I was on the next to the last book!! Grrr. Hopefully I will get to read everything this week.

I also missed one of my blog tour dates <wince>. I don’t know how I missed it. I have it written down on a calendar that is hanging next to my desk. I also have them written into my Google calendar. I got it written the day after I was supposed to post. But still.

I gotten a lot of new followers lately. Welcome to my blog. Feel free to comment on stuff. I don’t bite. Promise.


What I am currently reading:

Attracted to the Earl (Imperfect Lords Book 3) by [Evans, Bronwen]
click on the picture for the Amazon link

Unable to read or write, an earl discovers love in the last place he expects to find it—within the embrace of a brilliant woman—in this sexy, irresistible novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

What’s an earl to do?
The Earl of Argyle has died suddenly, leaving his brother Guy Neville at a complete loss. The dull-witted second son, as his father used to call him, Guy is now responsible for the estate and his brother’s seat in the House of Lords. Shamed by an inability to read or write, his distress is multiplied by an inquiry from a dyed-in-the-wool bluestocking who wishes to use the Argyle library and study a rare plant on the estate. Guy’s first instinct is to decline her request—until he catches a glimpse of Miss Abigail Pinehurst.

How’s a girl to behave?
Abigail cares for only one thing: plants. She is unconcerned about how she looks, what she wears, or the impression she makes on men. An orphan who turned to books for solace in a miserly, cruel institution, she now makes her living illustrating the greenery she adores. Lord Argyle, in fact, with his uncanny memory and chiseled features, is the first man to capture her attention—a ridiculous distraction since he is so far above her station. But her unreasonable heart has a mind of its own.


I recently finished reading:

Bright Burning Stars by [Small, A.K.]

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.


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

Unsuitable: A Forbidden Cove Novel by [Kent, Lavinia]

Cougar . . . MILF . . . Mrs. Robinson.

Jordan Robinson knows firsthand that when a woman marries a rich older man, people are going to talk. But now, with her husband gone, Jordan lives a quiet life of seclusion, managing her charities and staying away from the limelight. Then everything changes after an unexpected kiss leads to the best sex of her life—and a secret affair Jordan never wants to end.

A sexy young mogul who’s used to getting what he wants, Clay has wanted Jordan Robinson ever since he was seventeen and saw her emerge dripping from a swimming pool in a white bikini. But now he’s all grown up . . . and now she’s his. But when their relationship is exposed, the fallout is devastating. Yet Clay’s a man in his prime—and Jordan’s a woman worth fighting for. They may have started as a fling, but Jordan Robinson belongs in his bed, in his life . . . and forever in his heart.

Mrs. Everything: A Novel by [Weiner, Jennifer]

From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.

28 Dates (Crazy Love Book 3) by [Lynn, Stacey]

In the age of apps and social media, how many dates does it take to find “the one”? The author of Knocked Up and Fake Wife swipes right on love with a captivating friends-to-lovers tale.

Caitlin Pappas is a lifelong commitment-phobe. The closest thing she’s had to a relationship in the last few years was a friends-with-benefits thing that fizzled out because the guy wanted more. So when she and her best friend design a new app that promises to find “the one” in 28 Dates, Caitlin is the perfect guinea pig. Little does she know that she may have already met her match. . . .

Jonas Reeves has tried his best to move on after Caitlin didn’t want take things to the next level. Now they really are just friends . . . without benefits. Caitlin’s even a regular at his bar, The Dirty Martini. But when he learns that Caitlin plans to beta-test a new dating app on his home turf, Jonas senses a golden opportunity to win her heart. Even if he has to slide into her DMs to do it. . . .

The Earl Next Door (First Comes Love Book 1) by [Grey, Amelia]

What does a Wickedly Wonderful Widow really want? One noble suitor is about to find out. . .

Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, is all on her own after her husband’s sudden death. The good news? Losing him allowed her to find herself. Finally, Adeline is free to do, go, and be as she pleases. She cherishes her newfound independence and is not looking for another man to wed. But seeking out a new lover? Well, that is a whole ’nother story. . .

Lord Lyon, son of the two-timing Earl of Marksworth, wishes to have a respectable, loving wife someday. When he meets the beautiful and self-reliant Adeline, Lyon is instantly smitten. But Adeline would rather have the handsome suitor in her bed than to take his hand in marriage. It’s a scandalous proposal—and one that’s hard for Lyon to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve. . .and he can find a way to be the Wickedly Wonderful Widow’s lover for all time?

Twisted Family Values: A Novel by [Chickering, V.C.]

An unpredictable and entertaining tale of secrets, desires, and forgiveness spanning four generations of an American family. 

In WASPy Larkspur, New Jersey, social expectations and decorum rule, and Marjorie and Dunsfield Thornden are the envy of their neighbors. Their daughters Claire and Cat set the small town’s social calendar by throwing tastefully lavish family parties year round. Because it’s 1977, underage debauchery is to be expected—and Cat and Claire’s children, Bizzy and Choo, are at its very center. 

Underneath their well-maintained veneer, the Thorndens are quite dysfunctional, but have always had their entitlement to fall back on. And while some are finally ready to accept what they’re willing to give up for the life that they think they deserve, secrets that should’ve never been kept—especially not from each other—are bubbling unattractively to the surface.

So when a scandal threatens to unravel this tight-lipped family and their secrets, the Thorndens will have to decide how much they’ll let decorum rule social mores dictate their decisions and how far they’ll go to keep some secrets just that. Any choice they make could mean freedom from expectations but will change the course of their family’s legacy forever.

Excerpt: The Earl Next Door (First Comes Love: Book 1) by Amelia Grey


Excerpt

The Earl Next Door 17

Perhaps he should have stated who he was when he first entered the drawing room, but he’d thought it wasn’t necessary. He was only too well aware of how many private pleasure houses were hidden among the cozy streets of respectable London and how easily and quietly they were established. He’d certainly availed himself of more than a few over the years, which was why he’d promised his aunt he’d deal with the one she
believed was moving in next door to him and down the street from her.

Lyon could now see that Lady Wake’s earlier perplexed expressions and her sense of outrage had flashed warning after warning, which he’d ignored. That the countess didn’t immediately engage him with welcoming smiles should have been a swift indication all wasn’t as it seemed, but he was already in an irritable state of mind when he arrived at her house and unwavering in his thoughts not to be persuaded from his mission by a tempting woman.

He’d returned home from a laborious meeting with his unprepared solicitor, wanting only to get ready for an evening at White’s so he could get caught up on the latest news and indulge in a game or two of billiards, a
few hands of cards, and an expensive bottle of brandy. Instead, he’d come home to find his aunt in his drawing room wringing her hands in misery over the possibility

16 Amelia Grey

of unmentionable women setting up a forbidden business in their quiet neighborhood. And insisting he must do something about it at once.

Given all that was put before him, including the countess’s attire, what else could he have possibly done other than assume she was a paid woman preparing to fulfill some lucky man’s fantasy for the evening?

“The mistake was mine. I thought this was the kind of house where a man is always free and welcome to come and go as he pleases without hindrance, and not have to reveal his name or wait around to be announced. If I had known you were a lady and not an angel of the evening, I wouldn’t have acted so freely.”

“An angel of the evening?” She puffed out a breath of exasperation. “What rubbish. Clever words or phrases won’t hide what you thought when you entered or how you spoke to me. Now that you know who I am, you are still free to speak to me as before.”

That she would suggest he continue to speak so openly with her surprised him and was downright refreshing. Most of the ladies he knew would have
fainted when he made the remark about paying her fee for the evening and pray to never hear such a vile comment again.

“Nevertheless, I will give you the respect you deserve and watch my language now that I do know, my lady.”

He watched her breathing ease and calmness settle over her as they each assessed the situation. That her recovery was quick and solid was a testament to her strength.

“I heard you were out of Town when I moved into

The Earl Next Door 17

the neighborhood a few days ago,” she continued in a calm and confident voice.

“I returned last evening.”

“That doesn’t absolve your actions tonight. You should have checked with someone before you came charging over with uncivil actions, assumptions and untrue allegations.”

Lyon’s jaw clenched tighter. No doubt about that. He should have questioned his aunt more about her suspicions, but he wasn’t about to explain that to the countess and implicate his aunt and her friend. “I was
reasonably certain I had good cause to act as I did.”

“But you didn’t.”

“No.” What else could he say?

“And earl or not, sir,” she added valiantly, “you are an ogre as I’ve found most of your ilk are.”

He couldn’t argue with that either.

“Before you go, I’d like to know what made you think this was a house of pleasure for men.”

Lyon shook his head slowly. She was unbelievable. Asking him to explain what she’d just slapped him for. He wasn’t going to get caught in that snare again. “I’d rather not say, my lady.”

“Of course you don’t want to, but you must. I need to know what caused you to act as you did. Others could make the same mistake.”

Something settled in Lyon’s chest. A feeling that he’d never had before. Lady Wake was no shy or simpering female. She was courageous, impassioned beyond belief, and probably too strong-willed for her own
good.

That intrigued him. It made him want to answer her

16 Amelia Grey

with candid freedom, but every fiber of his being as a gentleman warned against such talk with a proper lady.

Yet, after only a brief hesitation, he responded, “If you insist.”

“I do.”

“It was brought to my attention that there have been some peculiar things going on over here while I’ve been out of Town.”

“Peculiar?” Concern resurfaced in her expression. “What do you mean? There is no reason for us to stand on ceremony, my lord. We are quite familiar with each other now. Speak to me as you would a madam and
tell me what made you think my home was a house of ill repute.”

“Very well. An abundance of deliveries of bedchamber furniture going into the building behind this house.”

“Why would that be strange, sir?” she asked him crisply. “Beds are necessary for everyone.”

“And women coming and going at all hours of the day and night.”

“Ah, yes,” she said on a breathy sigh as the meaning of his words became clear to her and she relaxed once again. “Now I understand. Beds and women. What else is a man to think of other than pleasure?”

Lyon felt the only thing he could reasonably do at this point was lift his brows, and say, “For that I can offer no apology.”

“It’s true, there have been many beds delivered. The building behind this house is being furnished as a boarding school for girls, my lord. The women who have been seen coming and going will be their tutors.

The Earl Next Door 17

Currently, some of the women have different jobs they must return to each day. They are free to leave at whatever time they deem necessary to make their other duties and commitments.”

“A boarding school?” he repeated, wondering why the hell his aunt didn’t know that. She was usually one of the first to hear the latest gossip.

“Yes. So whatever tawdry vision you’d imagined would be taking place between these walls tonight or any other won’t be happening. My home is not what you thought it was, and anyone else who assumed the same will have to look elsewhere for his decadences.”

The countess opened the door for him.

Lyon felt his expression softening, his admiration growing. For a number of reasons, including the truth of her words, there was no repairing their inauspicious meeting.

He nodded without further words, turned, and walked out of her house.

ABOUT THE EARL NEXT DOOR:

What does a fiercely independent young widow really want? One determined suitor is about to find out…

When Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, learns of her husband’s sudden death, she realizes she’s free. At last, she can do, go, and be as she pleases. Finally, she can have the life she has always dreamed of. She doesn’t need, or want, to remarry. Especially not the supremely dashing future Marquis of Marksworth, who makes Adeline yearn for his desire…

Lord Lyonwood, son of a philandering marquis, will not be like his father. He wants to run his estates and watch them flourish—and find a wife who brings love to his life. When he meets spirited and self-reliant Adeline in a case of near-scandalous mistaken identity, Lyon feels he’s met his match. But Adeline isn’t interested in a marriage proposal. She will only accept becoming his lover—and Lyon finds it hard to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author AMELIA GREY read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of over twenty-five books. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250217608

Author website: http://www.ameliagrey.com/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmeliaGreyBooks
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/491465.Amelia_Grey


SMP Romance Twitter: @SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts
SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/

WWW Wednesday: May 1st, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

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


Personal:

Miss R: Not much of an update since last week. Like I mentioned in last week’s post, she ran herself ragged the entire week of vacation. She would pass out as soon as I put her to bed and not wake up until the next morning. Which I am not complaining about…lol. She has a lot of things going on this week. Her pre-school holds a lemonade stand and the kids take turns running it. The cost: a couple of pennies. Her turn was yesterday and she was beyond thrilled to be doing it. Last night, she had her last T-Ball practice of the season. Today, we have kindergarten orientation at the school (they call it Beginner’s Day here). I was curious if the school was going to have it. The district called off school because 90% of the teachers were going to a march in Raleigh (it will be in the news). So, I called and it was still on. So, we’re going there later on this afternoon.

Miss B: She got her braces put on last Thursday. Top and bottom. She was in a world of hurt for the weekend. Her mouth was so sore. I felt awful. But, when she went to school on Monday, it was feeling fine. Other than sore teeth, she has been doing fine. She is excited for the end of school. She also got a new bike over the weekend.

Mr. Z: Nothing has changed with him. He has been spending a lot of time outside, playing with his friends and riding his bike. He goes tomorrow to get his hardware put in. Then we find out when he needs to go in for his teeth to be pulled. I am hoping it is sooner than later. He is going to miss at least a couple days of school and I don’t want it to be during end of grade testing.

Me: We had gotten an outdoor gazebo a couple of months ago. I held off on putting it up because, well, wind. It was windy out. Guess what happened. It was windy. Talk about gusts up to 45-50 mph. The gazebo got destroyed. I wanted to cry. Other than that, my past week was actually good. It was nice to be able to relax. Because from this week on, I am running everywhere.

Reading/Reviews/Blog:

I read almost everything from my WWW Wednesday last week. I didn’t get a chance to read this weekend because I was cleaning up from the windstorm. I am hoping to catch up this week. I have several blog tours I need to read for.

I am still in the same place as I was last week with reviews. I really need to find my happy place with writing them.

Something must be in the air. I have won every single Goodreads Giveaway that I entered lately. I never win anything, so I am pretty excited about getting these books

I have been getting more blog tour/excerpt requests/release blitz requests. Keep’em coming. I like them!!

I have left my blog alone this week. I decided that I am not going to change the theme anymore. I am looking to add some sort of rating’s key to my sidebar. That way people can see it when they open the review.


What I am currently reading:

A Safe Place (The Devereux Family Book 1) by [Watson, Margaret]

click on the picture for the Amazon link

Tough, tender-hearted Frankie Devereux doesn’t have time to babysit a smooth-talking football player who’s supposed to be doing community service at her after-school center for troubled teens. She’s dealing with serious stuff – gang problems, a homeless pregnant girl and scraping together enough money to keep her center open.

But when a dark secret from her past threatens Frankie and the existence of her program, Cal tries to step up and help. But with his career on the line, which will he choose? Football? Or Frankie and her vulnerable kids? 


I recently finished reading:

The Scent of Murder: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery Book 1) by [Logan, Kylie]

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.


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

Recollections of a rabbinate life. Nonfiction.

We Went to the Woods: A Novel by [Dolan-Leach, Caite]

They went off the grid. Their secrets didn’t. For readers of The Secret History and The Immortalists comes a novel about the allure–and dangers–of disconnecting.

Certain that society is on the verge of economic and environmental collapse, five disillusioned twenty-somethings make a bold decision: They gather in upstate New York to transform an abandoned farm, once the site of a turn-of-the-century socialist commune, into an idyllic self-sustaining compound called the Homestead.

Louisa spearheads the project, as her wealthy family owns the plot of land. Beau is the second to commit; as mysterious and sexy as he is charismatic, he torments Louisa with his nightly disappearances and his other relationships. Chloe, a dreamy musician, is naturally able to attract anyone to her–which inevitably results in conflict. Jack, the most sensible and cerebral of the group, is the only one with any practical farm experience. Mack, the last to join, believes it’s her calling to write their story–but she is not the most objective narrator, and inevitably complicates their increasingly tangled narrative. Initially exhilarated by restoring the rustic dwellings, planting a garden, and learning the secrets of fermentation, the group is soon divided by slights, intense romantic and sexual relationships, jealousies, and suspicions. And as winter settles in, their experiment begins to feel not only misguided, but deeply isolating and dangerous.

Caite Dolan-Leach spins a poignant and deeply human tale with sharp insights into our modern anxieties, our collective failures, and the timeless desire to withdraw from the world.

Realm by [Weis, Alexandrea]

Based on a true story.

When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.

Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.

Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.

However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.

History tells his story. This is hers.

Mrs. Everything: A Novel by [Weiner, Jennifer]

From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.

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

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… 

An Indigo Wind (The Four Book 2) by [Watson, Margaret]

Firefighter Gianna Fallon struggles to hide her unusual talents – especially her ability to control fire. But when she and Callan Doyle are tasked with taking down a compound creating warriors with superpowers, both will need every tool they possess. 

Callan Doyle, surfer and former SEAL, hates what happened when he began receiving the mysterious injections that changed who he was. Still, he’ll use those changes to help destroy that compound. 

But a powerful evil hides in plain sight in the compound, making their task more treacherous. As a net slowly surrounds them, can they neutralize the evil in the compound before the net pulls tight and evil eliminates them? 

The Earl Next Door (First Comes Love Book 1) by [Grey, Amelia]

What does a Wickedly Wonderful Widow really want? One noble suitor is about to find out. . .

Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, is all on her own after her husband’s sudden death. The good news? Losing him allowed her to find herself. Finally, Adeline is free to do, go, and be as she pleases. She cherishes her newfound independence and is not looking for another man to wed. But seeking out a new lover? Well, that is a whole ’nother story. . .

Lord Lyon, son of the two-timing Earl of Marksworth, wishes to have a respectable, loving wife someday. When he meets the beautiful and self-reliant Adeline, Lyon is instantly smitten. But Adeline would rather have the handsome suitor in her bed than to take his hand in marriage. It’s a scandalous proposal—and one that’s hard for Lyon to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve. . .and he can find a way to be the Wickedly Wonderful Widow’s lover for all time?