Category Archives: review copy

Review: Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

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About the book:

A freshly wrapped Regency Christmas romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes.

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire–won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

Lady Jenny is lonely in a family full of people. She is the “maiden-aunt” and shuttled around from sibling to sibling to dote and love on all of her various nieces and nephews. Everyone assumes that she is happy and doesn’t pay much attention to her true love – art. I really liked Jenny. She puts on a brave face and really does love her family, but inside she is dying a little each day. Then she makes a decision, thanks to Elijah, that changes the course of her life. Elijah Harrison is the perfect partner for Jenny. He sees right into her heart and wants everyone to know how important her art is to her and just how good at it she really is. I love how he sticks up for her to her family and how he tells her that she must make them see how important it is to her. Their relationship is a wonderful partnership and they have great chemistry. This is the last book in the Windham family series and I love how we were able to see little glimpses into each of the siblings lives and how they are still as happily in love as they were at the end of their books.

the book girl gives LADY JENNY’S CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT a 4/5

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Review: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

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About the book:

A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

Oh, Temple, Temple, Temple… I simply loved this mysterious character in the first two Rule of Scoundrels books and couldn’t wait to hear his story. It didn’t disappoint at all. Temple is so much more than the man he lets the world see and when Mara, who he has believed for years that he may have killed, comes back into his life he is finally able to become the man he was always meant to be. I loved Mara and Temple together. They have an instant spark that is a combination of anger, fear and lust. They are both drawn to each other and want nothing to do with each other at the same time. Mara isn’t afraid to push Temple. She won’t allow him to take control over her unless she is getting what she wants too. Temple doesn’t know what to do with Mara and it is amusing to see him at a loss as to how to deal with her at times. As the story unfolds so does the attraction between the couple and soon they find themselves unable to hold on to the anger. I love how their relationship changes and grows throughout the story and how they learn to forgive and accept forgiveness. NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is a very romantic tale.

 

the book girl gives NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED a 5/5

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Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

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About the book:

Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

I loved the characters in this book. Jackson is a swoon-worthy hero. He leaves his lucrative business to come home and help the family business after his father’s death – even though his Grandfather does everything to make him feel unwelcome. I love how honorable he is and how he does what’s right for his family even though he doesn’t necessarily want to be there. Kayla is a tougher character to love, but I did come to love her. She hates the holidays. She thinks going to Snow Crystal will keep her away from all of the trapping associated with the holidays, but it lands her right in the middle of a real family Christmas. The chemistry between Jackson and Kayla is instant and off the charts. They both try to deny it, but it is inevitable that they give in to the pull. Kayla changes a lot through the story – she learns to open up and really share herself with someone else. Jackson teaches her that not everyone is going to let her down. Kayla is also able to give insight into what other people around Jackson might be feeling and help him deal with his family better. I love how their relationship was a partnership. I can’t wait for the next two books in the O’Neil brothers series!

the book girl gives SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW a 5/5

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Review: Slow Ride Home by Leah Braemel

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About the book:

Book one of The Grady Legacy

Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.

Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…

Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.

SLOW RIDE HOME is a sexy contemporary romance. Ben and Allie share a past that ended on a bad note and seeing each other again has brought those feelings – both good and bad – back. I really liked both of the characters in this book. In the past they really loved each other and it is obvious from the very beginning that they are still insanely attracted to each other. Their relationship quickly heats back up, but they find themselves wondering if they are only together for the sex or if they could build something more. I loved their relationship and how it moves from sex to so much more without either Ben or Allie really realizing it. They come to mean so much to each other. They are able to help each other get passed the past and deal with the upsets of the present as a unit. The sex in the story is a little on the kinky side and it fits Allie and Ben’s relationship perfectly. SLOW RIDE HOME is the perfect read to heat up a cold winter night.

the book girl gives SLOW RIDE HOME a 5/5

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Review: ‘Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy

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About the book:

With the help of a sprig of mistletoe and some snow angels, a recently single pastry chef teaches a highly successful and sexy Scrooge the true meaning of the holidays on a snowy Christmas Eve that quickly heats up.

I enjoyed this holiday novella. Ellie and Mitch share a connection that isn’t instantaneous, but strengthens as they get to know each other. Ellie is spending her first holiday in the US to help her Godmother recover from surgery. Mitch hates the holidays, but knows that he must put on the Santa suit if he wants to impress his boss. I liked Mitch, but didn’t find his Grinch-like turn around about the holidays very believable. He changed his attitude almost completely in the course of one afternoon. ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA is a cute, quick read.

the book girl gives ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA a 3/5

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Review: Have You Any Rogues? by Elizabeth Boyle

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About the book:

The Seldons and Dales have been mortal enemies for centuries …

But that hasn’t stopped the roguish Crispin, Viscount Dale, and the impetuous Lady Henrietta Seldon from waging their own battle … of the heart. Every stray glance, every chance encounter threatens to reveal the secret passion that keeps drawing them together.

But finally, after years of flirting with disaster …

Crispin and Henrietta find themselves locked in a wine cellar, and now there is no denying the love and loyalties that have lured them in and torn them apart time and time again. Will this one last chance—this tempting night of desire—ignite a fire that will never be extinguished, no matter the price?

 HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES? is a tale of second (and third…and fourth) chances at true love. Henrietta and Crispin met when they were both young and full of dreams. Instantly smitten they knew they were meant to be together, but their families are enemies and pull them apart. I love how each time the couple is reunited their connection is just as strong as it was the last time they saw each other – no matter how many times Henrietta has been married or how many women Crispin has supposedly seduced. Their love is the ultimate true love. HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES? is a sweet, romantic story with some very steamy scenes between Crispin and Henrietta. I loved every moment of the story!

the book girl gives HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES? a 5/5

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Review: The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex

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About the book:

’Tis the season for a new holiday novella from acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex! The Scandal Before Christmas is romance so good it’s scandalous…

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea—all within a matter of days.  

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for—laughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

Ian needs a wife, but he doesn’t want one. Anne doesn’t want a husband, but marrying a man who will be at sea for a good part of the year – leaving her alone – seems about as good as it can get for a plain girl with nothing to recommend her. I loved how these two meet and think one thing about each other and then quickly change their opinion. Ian didn’t expect to be attracted to the plain Anne, but he quickly sees her as beautiful. Anne overcomes her shyness and learns to assert her true self. I loved these two as a couple. Their romance is both sexy and sweet.

the book girl gives THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS a 4/5

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Review: Santa to the Rescue by Adele Downs

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About the book:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: an honorable man doesn’t go back on his word; never hurt a woman; and lasting love isn’t a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at Appleton Fire Station, the long hours don’t offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing Santa Baby in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can’t keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather’s favorite song to prove he’s got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.

SANTA TO THE RESCUE is a cute, romantic short story. Jamey and Heather have great chemistry when they meet. The story is short, but the author does a great job of building a believable relationship between two strangers. Heather has trust issues and Jamey is able to overcome them by being honest with her and working to make sure he doesn’t let her down. SANTA TO THE RESCUE is the perfect read when you want something quick and sweet.

the book girl gives SANTA TO THE RESCUE a 4/5

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Review: Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey

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About the book:

Adrian Blackstone built a million-dollar business with hard work and determination—and by remaining professional at all times. Denying his longtime attraction to his beautiful executive assistant hasn’t been easy but it’s necessary. She’s indispensable, and he can’t stand the thought of losing her if things didn’t work out.

For more than a year, Rachel Carter has been quietly dreaming of all the ways she’ll never seduce her sexy, buttoned-up boss. She’s worked too hard to get where she is to cross that line, no matter how badly she’d like to act on her fantasies. But then a wicked snowstorm leaves them stranded in a romantic winter wonderland…

What begins as a single kiss and a few bad Santa jokes turns into a weekend full of breathless passion and hopes for something more. But with Monday comes a return to their complicated reality—and Adrian must prove that promises made are promises kept, especially at Christmastime.

20,000 words

I adored this book. The story jumps right in and never slows down. Even though the story is short, it doesn’t feel incomplete or like it is missing anything. (When I saw the word count I was surprised it was that short!) The chemistry between Adrian and Rachel is evident from the very beginning of the story. I really enjoyed how they both worried about what their relationship would be like when they got back to the real world and had let that fear keep them from acting on that attraction for so long. It made their weekend fling seem like so much more than a three night stand. Their problems with reconciling their romantic relationship and their work relationship take a little time, but work themselves out quickly. The writing is excellent. SNOWBOUND WITH THE CEO is the perfect book for a cold winter night.

the book girl gives SNOWBOUND WITH THE CEO a 5/5

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Review: Sins of a Wicked Princess by Anna Randoll

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About the book:

In the scorching finale of Anna Randol’s wickedly tempting Trio series, the Wraith takes on a mission— and a princess— he’ll never forget . . .

Ian Maddox, aka the Wraith, is happy to leave his life as a spy— as soon as he discovers who’s been trying to kill his friends. All clues lead him to the bedroom of an exiled princess. Yet Princess Juliana isn’t the simpering royal he expects, and this irresistible beauty agrees to give him the information he seeks . . . for a price.

Princess Juliana has never cowered—not even as she fled her burning castle in the midst of a rebellion—so she won’t tremble before the darkly charismatic man who appears in her bedchamber and holds a knife to her throat. Instead, she bargains with the infamous spy to help her retrieve sensitive documents and restore her kingdom. But Juliana quickly finds that Ian is no humble servant, and she never imagines that lessons in thievery will lead to schooling in seduction.

I’ve loved this series from the beginning and have especially loved Ian. The way he protected Madeline and Colin in the previous books and made sure that they were never exposed to the very worst of what the Trio had to do made him a real hero in my eyes. I wanted him to get his happily ever after, but the heroine of his story would have to be really special. Luckily he found Princess Juliana. I loved her almost instantly. She’s been kicked out of her country, after her parents were murdered, and now has to find a way to gain back her place as ruler while dealing with both the French and Spanish. She’s strong enough to take on Ian and his moody behavior. I love them together – they make each other better. Ian gives Juliana the confidence she needs to step-up and do what needs to be done for her country and Juliana makes Ian realize that he’s more than what he’s done in the past. SINS OF A WICKED PRINCESS is the perfect ending to the Trio series.

the book girl gives SINS OF A WICKED PRINCESS a 5/5

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