Review~Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Marrying Winterborne 
Series: The Ravenels #2
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 416
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

A ruthless tycoon

Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…

A sheltered beauty

Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…

Marrying Mr. Winterborne

Review

I’ve stated before that historical romance is my palate cleanser. The balm to my reading soul. I was beyond thrilled while reading this book! After I finished reading it, I sighed, looked at my husband and told him how much I loved him. He said, “Oh boy. What have you been reading?” I launched into detail about the story.

Helen is a titled lady. She’s quiet, withdrawn and proper. She’s a rule follower. She’s everything a lady of her class should be. She doesn’t want a Season. She wants Winterborne. He’s a self made man. The Ton tolerates him because he has money but he’s not considered as one of them. He owns a huge department store, so his wealth is substantial. Helen needs financial security and Winterborne needs Helen’s status.

This was truly a great romance. A woman who knows what she wants and what she has to do to get it. A man who knows what he needs but is lucky that its the same thing that he wants. There’s more to the story than that but you need to read that for yourself. I love Lisa Kleypas’ writing and can’t wait for her next romance.
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Review~The Beast of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood

Title: The Beast of Clan Kincaid 
Series: Clan Kincaid #1
Author: Lily Blackwood
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

They call him the Beast—a hardened mercenary whose heart seems as cold as his icy blue gaze. They do not know his true name: Niall Braewick, son of the Laird of Kincaid. It has been years since he escaped into the forest the night his father was murdered. Now he has returned, ablaze with a vengeful hunger. He will gain the MacClaren chief’s trust, gather his clan, and take back his lands. And take the MacClaren’s daughter as well…

Though he pulled her from the river, saving her life, Elspeth has been warned to keep her distance from her father’s hired warrior. He is a barbarian—a shame, as he is far more compelling than the lechers and fools competing for her dowry. Little does she know that, like the castle itself, she is a prize Niall intends to claim…but will he extract blood for blood and possess what is his, or will his enemy’s beautiful, innocent daughter tempt him to forsake his dream of conquest?

Review

Niall Braewick is a man on a mission and nothing will deter him. He is the heir to a fallen clan. His parents murdered, his two brothers, missing or dead. He has plotted his revenge carefully. He’s formed his own army to take back what was his. Since his youth, he’s honed his skills as a fighter, lived as a pauper and became the warrior known as the Beast.

Elspeth MacClaren is the eldest daughter of the Laird now ruling Niall’s former lands. She knows of the Kincaids but not truly how they lost their rule. She’s ready to marry, as she knows she has to. She’s responsible to make a good match to strengthen her clan. When she sees her father’s hired sword, a spark goes off. She’s drawn to him despite knowing it can lead nowhere.

This was a good book to start a new Scottish Highlander romance series. I enjoyed it. I loved the main characters, the suspense elements and the sex was good. It was almost perfect. I hated Elspeth’s stepmother. Despite her change of heart toward the end of the book, she was beyond redemption to me. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Book given in exchange for an honest review via the publisher and NetGalley.
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Review~Cash by Jessica Gadziala

Title: Cash 
Series: The Henchmen MC #2
Author: Jessica Gadziala
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 237
Heat Level: 4 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

CASH

My life has been about three things- brotherhood, good times, and women. Easy. Nothing complicated. That was until Willow Swift came barging back into my life, face bloodied, banging at the gates of The Henchmen compound calling in a favor owed. Now a marker is a marker and I had to make good, but if there was one woman in the world I didn’t need in my life, it was the hard-as-stone, hot-as-sin Willow Swift and whatever mysterious ghosts from her past that were haunting her present.

WILLOW

My life has been nothing but two things: hard and complicated. The last person I wanted in my business was the notorious love-em and leave-em Cash, but I needed help and he was the only one I could lean on without worrying about him finding out about my past. But I was starting to wonder if maybe he was his own kind of dangerous bent on tearing down some things I had long since learned were not possible for me- like falling for a guy I could not, ever, let see the real me.

Review

I was really looking forward to Cash’s book. Who doesn’t love when the manwhore falls for his forever woman? I love that! Isn’t that why we all read romance? It’s certainly my reason for reading romance. This second installment in the series is about Cash and Lo. I liked Cash. I liked Lo. I just didn’t like the two of them together. I never felt any real connection between them. I tried, I really did.

I did like the suspense. I liked Lo’s backstory. I liked Wolf’s part of the book. I loved Cash’s all in attitude about Lo. I liked the sex too. I just wished I would’ve liked them as a couple more. I will try Wolf’s book next. I’m super excited about him.
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Review~You Can’t Always Get The Marquess You Want by Alexandra Hawkins

Title: You Can’t Always Get The Marquess You Want 
Series: Master of Seduction #2
Author: Alexandra Hawkins
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 353
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

A MOST FORBIDDEN LOVE

They call him Chance, though in truth the Marquess of Fairlamb feels bitterly cursed: A long-ago family feud is still standing in the way of his heart’s desire. Lady Tempest is the daughter of his father’s sworn enemy, the Marquess of Norgrave. She is beautiful, innocent, and utterly untouchable. But some seductions are just too good to resist…

Turns out Tempest is a woman of her own mind—and a true romantic who will overcome every obstacle to be with the man of her dreams. But the odds are against handsome, wickedly charming Chance if he intends to win Tempest as his bride. Will he choose loyalty to his family—or risk everything he has for the woman he yearns for?

Review

The Hatfields and McCoys. The Montagues and the Capulets. Feuding families and love stories. I know it’s wrong on several levels but I love this trope. Enemies to lovers? OMG, yes! Me please! Oh, please, please, please. The Rookes and the Brants now join those feuding families in the literary world.

Mathias Rooke is the oldest son of a Duke. He’s good looking, smart, a bit of a brawler and a bit of a womanizer. He still likes his bachelorhood and it’s many perks. He’s been raised to dislike and steer clear of the Brants. When he and his friends are swimming one day, he realizes that he’s being watched. The watcher is a dark haired female. She flees the scene of the crime and he and his friends give chase.

Tempest Brant is the daughter of a Duke also. The eldest daughter and also the one with a failed match from the last season. She’s content being single until she finds the ONE. Her father would be content if she made a favorable match. On an outing she wanders off for a moment of peace and quiet. What she finds are three men swimming naked. When she realizes she’s been spotted, she runs back to her family.

Mathias, AKA Chance finds out too late that the woman he was chasing after is a Brant. He’s intrigued by her beauty and feisty attitude. Can you see past the sins of your parents? The lies? The over protectiveness? The secrecy? Can you do that to get to the love of a lifetime? Chance and Tempest are about to find out.

I liked this book so much better than it’s predecessor. This one felt like Alexandra Hawkins to me. I’m eagerly awaiting stories on all of the Rookes, Brants and their collection of friends.

Book given in exchange for an honest review vis the publisher and NetGalley.
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Review~Highland Spitfire by Mary Wine

Title: Highland Spitfire 
Series: Highland Weddings #1
Author: Mary Wine
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Heat Level: 3 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

In the throes of fierce clan wars, the Queen’s Regent tricks the children of two feuding lairds into a desperate choice: marry or die. The union—however reluctant—of a MacPherson and a Robertson could end three generations of hostilities between the two families.

Ailis Robertson wanted a husband, not a savage. But she is rocked by the intense passion she feels for Bhaic—who is likewise taken aback by the fierce jealousy he experiences when he sees Ailis speaking with other men. Is it possible for fierce enemies to become ardent lovers?

Review

In case you don’t know, there are very few things in romance literature that I love more than a Scottish Highlander romance. It’s pretty much my favorite thing. In this book, I got a lot of my likes.

1.) Scottish Highlander Romance

2.) Two rival clans that truly hate each other.

3.) A forced or arranged marriage that became a love match.

4.) A struggling heroine trying to fit in with her husband’s clan.

This book started out so good. I devoured 60 % in no time but then it hit a plateau and stayed there. It was a really good book by a great author. I just wish that the last 40% was as enthralling as the first 60%.

Book given in exchange for an honest review via the publisher and NetGalley.
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Review~Falling Into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath

Title: Falling Into Bed with a Duke 
Series: The Hellions of Havisham #1
Author: Lorraine Heath
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady’s desires—and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair.

A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime’s pleasure?

Review

Minerva is the daughter of the wealthiest man in London. The problem with that is when it comes to the marriage mart, Minerva is chased by many fortune hunters. Her dowry is huge but Minerva is outspoken, smart and plain looking. None of these work in her favor. She’s firmly on the shelf, having turned down numerous offers from fortune hunters. She’s fine with that but wants to experience sex and feeling desirable just once. She gains admittance to a club for London’s elite that arranges titled people to have liaisons of a sexual nature.

Raised by a madman with three other boys, the Duke of Ashebury has his issues. He’s seen firsthand the destruction that love can cause. He’s fine with his sex life. He can pick out a lady to indulge himself with. He has grown tired of the game though. When he spots a new lady at the club, he engages her right away. She’s different, not only in appearance but actions and speech as well. He has to have her and not just for one night.

I liked this book a lot. Great characters, powerful emotions and hot sex scenes. A strong heroine and a hero who never wanted love until a spit fire woman wouldn’t settle for anything less. I can’t wait for the next book.
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Review~The Rock by Monica McCarty

Title: The Rock 
Series: Highland Guard #11
Author: Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 416
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

The Highland Guard series on Amazon

The first time he caught sight of Elizabeth Douglas, Thomas MacGowan thought she was a princess. To the son of the castle blacksmith, the daughter of the powerful Lord of Douglas might as well be. When it becomes clear that his childhood companion will never see him as a man she could love, Thom joins Edward Bruce’s army as a man-at-arms to try to change his lot. If he’s harbored a secret hope that he could close the gap between them, he faces the cold, hard truth when Elizabeth comes to him for help. She might need the boy who used to climb cliffs to rescue her brother from the hands of the English, but she would never see the son of a smith as a man worthy of her hand.

Review

Tommy was a smithy’s son who fell in love with his Laird’s daughter. He, a village girl, the Laird’s son and the Laird’s daughter all grew up playing together, They spent countless hours running around the estate grounds and village.. Despite their class differences, they were inseparable. As they grew up, Tommy’s love for Elizabeth never wavered. Elizabeth was sent away to France for a while and came back all grown up.

Elizabeth has always considered Tom her best friend. Whether together or apart, he was her greatest confidante She probably spent more time with Tom than she should’ve due to their class distinctions. The Tom she finds on her return is different. He’s all grown up and his desire is to be a soldier. This is a goal he has spent years striving toward.

Elizabeth needs Tom’s help and doesn’t hesitate to ask him for it. When they both realize that they have feelings for one another beyond friendship, they both have to decide if their love is worth all they could lose.

I liked this book. The friendship was sweet & innocent, until it wasn’t. When it wasn’t, YOWZA! Hot! I am saddened as this series winds to a close. Monica McCarty writes great Scottish Highlander romance.
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Review~A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans

Title: A Whisper of Desire 
Series: The Disgraced Lords #4
Author: Bronwen Evans
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 300
Heat Level: 3 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Naughty Book Snitch Kay

Lady Marisa Hawkstone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational, he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.

Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.

Review

I loved the first two books in this series, the third one fell flat for me but this one was really good. Lots and lots of suspense. I am liking that less and less in this genre but it totally worked for me here.

As one of the infamous Libertine Scholars, the Duke of Lyttleton is no stranger to scandal. When he’s found in bed with his best friend’s little sister, he’s honor bound to ask for her hand. He’s not upset by it since he talked to her brother about marrying her months before. He needs a wife, an heir and he likes what he knows about Marisa. He is upset that she got drug into the scheme of a madwoman hell bent on revenge against the Libertine Scholars.

Marisa is shocked when she finds herself in bed with the Cold Duke. She was ready to accept an offer from another titled man but then she found out he was a liar. Now she finds herself married to her brother’s best friend and in the middle of a really dangerous situation. The madwoman is closing in and won’t let anyone stand in her way. To make matters worse, Marisa falls in love with her husband but he refuses to accept her love or acknowledge his for her.

I really liked this one. It was exciting, passionate and heartbreaking. Bronwen Evans is pulling out all the stops in this series and I’m thrilled to be along for the ride.

Book given in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
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Review~Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Cold-Hearted Rake 
Series: The Ravenels #1
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 416
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

A twist of fate…

Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.

A clash of wills…

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?

Review

Everything about this one worked for me. It’s been forever since I’ve read a five star historical romance. Like 2 years. I normally don’t like a sassy heroine in Regency romance but I loved this one. She was a widow with extenuating circumstances. She still lived in her late husband’s home with his 3 sisters. When the new Earl showed up, she hated him on sight.

The new Earl was never supposed to become an Earl but his cousin’s death left him titled. His plans were to sell the estate and wash his hands of it. He had drinking and whoring to do after all. Then he met his cousin’s widow and his views and all of his plans started changing.

From the main characters to the secondary characters, I loved them. Lisa Kleypas has great story telling ability and wonderful humor. I am loving this new series and am breathless with anticipation for the next one!
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Review~The Striker by Monica McCarty

Title: The Striker 
Series: Highland Guard #10
Author: Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Scottish Romance
Pages: 416
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

Six years ago, Eoin “Striker” MacLean endured the greatest betrayal of his life, a disaster that led Robert the Bruce to a crushing defeat and left Eoin without the spirited woman who ruled his heart. Eoin knew that falling in love with his sworn enemy’s daughter was risky, dividing him between a possessive desire for beautiful Margaret MacDowell and an undying loyalty to his king. He promised Bruce that he would keep his fiery bride in the dark about the elite Highland Guard, but he could not predict the dire consequences his secret would have on his young marriage. Nor could he foresee how surrendering to temptation could cripple Bruce’s cause, forcing Eoin to blame his wife—and himself for trusting her.

Now, as Bruce prepares to challenge the resistance’s remaining strongholds, Eoin finally has his chance for revenge against the woman he once loved so fiercely and her entire clan. But when ferociously independent Margaret reveals a surprise that unites her with Eoin, neither of them will let their love go down without a fight.

Review

After my personal disappointment with the last book in this series, I was apprehensive about reading this one. I’m so glad I did though because it was fantastic. It had everything you’d expect from a Monica McCarty novel.

Margaret was a great heroine. A little wild, a little spoiled and a little sheltered. She was indulged by her family and clan. She wasn’t raised like other young ladies of the Highlands. Her clan struck me as more savage and poor. She was supposed to make a match to align her clan with another clan in support of their choice for King. Margaret is adventurous, not to mention, breathtakingly beautiful. She’s also outspoken, says thing that are misinterpreted.

Eoin is a member of the Highland Guard for Robert Bruce, but not when they first meet. He’s almost betrothed to another girl. He knows he has to stay away from Margaret, not only because of her wildness but because of their different alliances. Fate, being the crafty bitch that she is, has other plans and the two fall in love. After a “wedding” ceremony, they leave and go to Eoin’s homeland where he leaves her with his family and clansmen. They detest her because of her reputation and family name.

As Eoin trains for the Guard, Margaret struggles to fit in. It doesn’t work and she leaves to go back to her family. The two see each other maybe four times in their six year marriage and Margaret believes he’s dead. That is just a snippet of what happens in this book. War, death, betrayal and hot sex scenes. Monica McCarty hit it out of the park with this one, proving she’s still a force to be reckoned with in penning Scottish Highlander romance. I can’t wait to see what she does next!
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