Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Draw Me Close by Nicole Michaels


Lindsey Morales is a beautiful, talented decorator with a popular lifestyle blog. She always knows just how to make things look perfect. But when it comes to her love life, there’s no design trick she can use to cover up the obvious: Her broken heart.


Eight years ago, Derek Walsh just wasn’t ready to choose a long-term relationship over his career. But now that the handsome, hot-shot architect has the chance to see Lindsey again—working with her to renovate an old farmhouse—he will do everything he can to repair the damage of the past. But is he finally ready to build a real future…if Lindsey is willing to take him back?

Lindsey and Derek actually meet up in book 2, Win Me Over.  The impact of this meet, however, is the entire plot of book 3. 

I was surprised by how quickly I "fell" for Lindsey and Derek as a couple.  Maybe because we the reader see how broken Lindsey is when Derek leaves her.  And while Derek tried to make the best of a bad situation by marrying his former girlfriend when he really wanted to be with Lindsey, it really wasn't the smartest decision he could have made (hindsight, and all). 

There is some angst between the two of them, naturally, but I thought the pacing of Draw Me Close was on target to give Derek time to explain his decision to Lindsey and for Lindsey to come to grips with Derek's life since they broke up.  It allowed them time to fall in love with each other again, and that was a very nice thing to see. 

(A very special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Draw Me Close.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

Josephine Carlisle, adopted daughter of a baron, is officially on the shelf. But the silly, marriage-minded misses in the ton can have their frilly dresses and their seasons in London, for all she cares. Josie has her freedom and her family . . . until an encounter with a dark, devilishly handsome stranger leaves her utterly breathless at a house party. His wicked charm intrigues her, but that's where it ends. For Josie has a little secret . . .

Espionage was Thomas Matteson, Marquess of Chesney's game-until a tragic accident cost him his career. Now to salvage his reputation and return to the life he loves, the marquess must find the criminal who's been robbing London's rich and powerful. He's no fool-he knows Josie, with her wild chestnut hair and rapier-sharp wit, is hiding something and he won't rest until he unravels her mysteries, one by one. But he never expected to be the one under arrest-body and soul . . . 
Buy the book!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne

A scandalous proposal.

As one of London's most elite hunters, Christopher Argent never misses his mark and always gets his man. But when his latest target turns out to be a woman—the popular, and stunningly beautiful, actress Millie LeCour—it turns his whole world upside-down. Overwhelmed by the heat that simmers between them, Christopher can't complete his mission. On the contrary, he'll do anything to save Millie's life—even if it means risking his own...

A dangerous passion...

When she learns what Christopher was hired to do, Millie is torn between the fear in her heart and the fire in her soul. Putting herself in this dangerous man's arms may be her only path to safety—but giving in to her desire may be the deadliest mistake she's ever made. With both of their lives in jeopardy, Millie and Christopher must learn to trust the real feelings they're hiding—to find the true love they're looking for...

Christopher Argent is a dark, powerful man.  He's also a trained hunter/assassin, who is paid well for his jobs.  He's tasked with killing Millie LeCour, but once he sees the actress, he duty changes.  

The beginning of The Hunter details Argent's beginnings.  He's a little bit haunted by those experiences, naturally, but they also helped shape him into the gritty man he is now.  He is instantly attracted to Millie, despite the fact that he's supposed to kill her, and he begins to sense there is more to Millie's story than he's being told.  

I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed The Hunter.  Dark and brooding heroes aren't my favorite, but something about Argent really drew me to him.  I'm very much looking forward to The Highlander in August. 

(A very special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Hunter.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review: Dukes are Forever by Anna Harrington

Battlefields and barrooms hold much more interest for Edward Westover, Duke of Strathmore, than a little girl's fondness for dolls and lace. When he takes possession of his enemy's estate, everything that villain held dear-including his daughter-belongs to Edward. Hire a governess, arrange a dowry, give a few reassurances, and be off on his way-that's Edward's plan. But he's in for the shock of his life. For his new ward is a beautiful, impetuous, and utterly irresistible woman . . .

. . . AND WAR
Kate Benton is stunned. Who is this arrogant, infuriating man who's invited himself into her home and taken over her life? Her vow: to do everything in her power to convince him to leave her-and Brambly House-alone. Yet as chilly days melt into sultry nights, Kate sees glimpses of kindness underneath Edward's cool façade . . . and a passionate nature that takes her breath away. There's so much she doesn't know about this man. But does she dare trust this devilish duke with her heart?

Revenge is high in the mind of Edward Westover, Duke of Strathmore.  He has decided he will punish Phillip Benton by taking everything from him, just as Benton did to Edward.  First on the list:  make Benton's daughter Katherine hate her father.

The unfortunately thing for Edward is that Kate, whom Edward believes to be a child, is a young women who has been on her own for quite some time.  She cares for those who helped raise her -- incidentally, not her father -- and she has planned her life in accordance with one day inheriting what had belonged to her mother.   

Kate and Edward are two very stubborn people who are pushed together by circumstances.  I liked that Kate was able to break through some of Edward's gruff exterior while losing none of her own gumption.   And of course they fall in love.  

(A very special thank you to Forever Romance, Grand Central Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Dukes Are Forever.)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Start Me Up by Nicole Michaels


Single mom Anne Edmond can handle—and hand-make—just about anything. From table settings to party favors, floral arrangements to nursery décor, there is no project her creativity and a glue gun can't tackle. But dating? That's a whole 'nother story. Case in point: Mike Everett. He's a gorgeous mechanic and known car-whisperer, a man who can work with auto parts like nobody's business. And he has thrown a monkey wrench into Anne's carefully-crafted life…

One look at Anne is enough for Mike to know that she's no fixer-upper. She's perfect just the way she is—and the chemistry between them works like a charm. Mike's always been a no-strings kind of guy, but Anne's impressive self-reliance—and gorgeous exterior—gives him pause. This time, a fast joyride just doesn't seem like enough. But first he has to convince Anne that he means to take her all the way…

 I actually read Book 3 of this series, Draw Me Close, first, but when I finished it, I knew I had to start this series from the beginning.  I am so glad I did! 

Just as with Draw Me Close, Start Me Up hit all the right buttons for this romance reader.  Anne and Mike have chemistry from their initial meet until the very end of the novel.  Mike's relationship with Anne's daughter, Claire, is realistic and cute.  Anne's interaction with her friends-slash-blogging partners, Callie and Lindsay, and Mike's friendship with Derek moved the story forward but maintained the focus on Anne and Mike's relationship. 

I kept waiting for the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING between them to pull them apart, and while there was a slight problem, it came from someone other than Anne or Mike.  Hallelujah! 

I cannot wait to jump into Book 2, Win Me Over

Friday, April 1, 2016

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