Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancĂ©’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

Sutton and Wyatt aren't strangers, but they are from different sides of Cottonbloom.  When Sutton discovers her fiance has been cheating with her best friend, she lies that she and Wyatt have been involved as well.  Wyatt agrees to go along with it because of his childhood crush on Sutton.

There is a bit of a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING between Sutton and Wyatt, just as their true love starts to take hold, thanks to something said by Wyatt's oldest brother, Ford.  I'll be interested to see how Ford is portrayed in future books.  

It's always fun to visit Cottonbloom - both sides! - and see characters from the previous series.  The Abbotts of Cottonbloom, Louisiana, have a lot of tension simmering between them, so I'm excited to see where this new series goes. 

(A very special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Leave the Night On.)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Review: The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed he needs to convince his enemy's fiancee, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead.

Lady Claire's curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .until Alex, a man she barely even knows, shocks the ton and Claire by announcing their engagement. What begins as a sham turns into something deeper, and more passionate, than either Claire or Alex could have imagined. But when their secrets are revealed, will the truth behind their union scandalize them both or is their love strong enough to break the curse and lead them toward their happily ever after?

I love to give new authors, especially authors of historical romances, a chance.  Unfortunately, I didn't connect with Ms. MacGregor's writing as much as I had hoped.  

Alex is after revenge on behalf of his deceased sister.  Claire just happens to be in the way as a pawn.  Alex's manipulations and Claire's behavior, particularly in the second half of the novel, didn't engage me.  I kept wondering why they were still together!  The ton believes Claire is cursed, so a separation would only feed into that notion.   

A disappointing historical romance for me, I'm sorry to say. 

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

Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Suddenly One Summer by Julie James

Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn't mean she's opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister's case, she's as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford...

Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He's willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there's no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for...

Suddenly One Summer has been on my TBR since its release.  Her first novel not featuring an FBI agent as a main character, previous heroes and heroines are mentioned or appear as secondary characters, so this book ties into the series as a whole. 

When I read one of Ms. James' books, I know I'm going to get a lot of sexual tension between the heroine and hero; both characters will be smart or crafty -- above-board, I suppose.  And it's usually their personalities and dialogue that drive that sexual tension.  It makes them relatable and real, and I typically LOVE it.  

So I was surprised that Ms. James used a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING between Ford and Valerie.  Fortunately, the couple talks and are able to come back together quickly with honesty between them.  To a point, I suppose Valerie and Ford assumed things about the other from the moment they met in the building.  Still, it was a surprise.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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