My Reviews of 2018 RITA Awards Finalists

 




Below you will find four of the 2018

RITA© Award Finalist that I have reviewed

I will follow up in the days to come with others.



My Review of

 2018 Romance Writers of America

RITA© Award Finalist for Best Historical (long)

RITA+Finalist[10]

Between the Devil and the Duke

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A Season for Scandal, Book 3

by Kelly Bowen

2017 RITA award winning author!

Reviewed at NetGalley ~ Feb. 03, 2017

A Best Romance of February 2017 Selection – Amazon Books

Series: A Season for Scandal (Book 3)

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Forever (January 31, 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1455563412

ISBN-13: 978-1455563418

File Size: 5050 KB

Print Length: 353 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455563412

Publisher: Forever (January 31, 2017)

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Sold by: Hachette Book Group

Language: English

ASIN: B01FD96IPS

Available In E-Book or Mass Market Paperback at:

kindlebam_logo_1216nookibookskobo

 Publisher’s Description:

Their love was always in the cards.
He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he’s more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty-in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he’ll have to devise a proposition she can’t turn down.

Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie’s club offered a surefire way to make quick money-until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . .

My Thoughts:

Hang onto your hats ladies. This book is one for the ages.
I had never read a Kelly Bowen book before this one, but even though it is apparently book #3 in a series I have no problem recommending it as a standalone title.

I will be certain to look into other titles by this new to me author.

The characters are so very interesting and well thought out and the storyline keeps you on your toes. You just have to keep reading to discover what happens next.

The cover is a nice touch and drew me to requesting it as an ARC at NetGalley. The title of the book, however is a bit confusing because the only Dukes involved are really secondary characters in this wonderfully written tale.

I gave this book 4.75 of 5 stars for storyline and characterization and 4 of 5 stars for heat.

The underlying physical interest between our hero and heroine are necessary to complete this great book.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley to read and review.
This in no way affected my opinion of this book.



My Review of

 2018 Romance Writers of America

RITA© Award Finalist for Best Historical (long)

RITA+Finalist[10]

The Scandalous Flirt

1208213445

Cinderella Sisterhood Series

by Olivia Drake

Reviewed at NetGalley ~ Oct.18, 2017

File Size: 2713 KB

Print Length: 349 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250060311

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: October 31, 2017

Sold by: Macmillan

Language: English

ASIN: B06Y5K6N52

Purchase Now In E-Book or Mass Market Paperback at:

kindlenookbutton-google-playkobo

Publisher’s Description:

Scandal begins with just one kiss. . .

Aurora Paxton was once the belle of the ball, the most sought-after debutante of the season—until a scandalous mistake ruined her.Shunned by her family, Rory was banished to the country to live in disgrace. Now she’s been summoned back to London by her stepmother, who is being blackmailed by the least likely person Rory can imagine: Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell.

Lucas is someone Rory’s known for years—a man as devastatingly handsome as he is coldly disapproving of her. What in the world could he want from her or her family? Rory intends to find out as soon as she comes face to face with her old foe. What she never expects, however, is that the icy aristocrat has a soft spot for her—and a secret plan to redeem her status. Could it be that Lucas has been in love with Rory all along. . .and has finally found a way to win her heart?

My Thoughts:

This is the third book I have read in this series. I found it impossible to put down. It was an equal to His Wicked Wish and in this reader’s opinion better than Bella and the Beast.
The undeniable mystery and blackmail scheme caught my interest from the start.
Lucas is the first person that Rory’s stepmother suspects is her blackmailer. After all the missing letters were written by his now deceased father and he was present in her home when they disappeared.
Rory devises a plan to infiltrate Lucas’s household by becoming his mother’s companion.
This diversion works initially, but not for long.
This convoluted tale takes us on many twists and turns before finally leading us to the culprits. Yes there is more than one person responsible.
I gave this book 4.5 of 5.0 stars for storyline and character development and a sensual rating of 3.5 of 5.0 flames. Having been burned before our heroine doesn’t immediately become intimate with our hero and he is too gentlemanly to force the issue.
I received a complimentary digital ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley to read. This in no way affected my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.



My Review of

 2018 Romance Writers of America

RITA© Award Finalist for Best Historical (Short)

RITA+Finalist[10]

A Scottish Lord for Christmas

990090467

Sins and Scandals

by Lauren Smith

Reviewed at Goodreads ~ November 15, 2017

File Size: 5850 KB

Publisher: Forever Yours

Publication Date: December 5, 2017

Sold by: Hachette Book Group

Language: English

ASIN: B06XZLDRR3

Buy Now in E-Book for $3.99 at:

kindlenookbutton-google-playkobo 

Publisher’s Description:

The best gifts come wrapped in a kilt…

Beautiful Lady Rowena Pepperwirth can have any man her heart desires. Unfortunately no gentleman has elicited even the slightest flutter—until she meets the brooding Lord Forres at a holiday house party. With just one look at the dashing Scottish lord, Rowena suddenly knows what she wants for Christmas.

Quinn MacCauley, Lord Forres, is in need of a wife. When he meets the lovely Lady Rowena, he knows she’ll be a good mother to his daughter and a capable household manager. But Quinn doesn’t count on Rowena being the most tempting woman he’s ever met. He’s determined not to risk his heart, but Rowena’s just as determined to give him the greatest holiday gift of all—a chance at true love.

My Thoughts:

It’s Rowena’s first season. She is after all only eighteen years old. She has made her debut but no man has to this time caught her interest although she has caught the interest of most eligible men of the ton. When she meets Quinn MacCauley, Lord Forres things change.

Quinn is a widower of one year. He has a precocious daughter of three years who is need of a mother. He finds that woman in the guise of Rowena who is quite taken with his daughter when she saves the inquisitive child from falling into a fish pond.
Quinn has no need for love. He only needs a companion and a mother figure for Blair.

I loved this sweet and almost tragic Christmas based novella. Lauren Smith always entertains me with her stories no matter the genre. This one happens to be just my cup of tea though.

I gave this book 4.75 of 5.0 stars for storyline and characterization and a sensual rating of 4.25 of 5.0 flames. The heat is palpable between our hero and heroine although the love seems to be one sided in most of this tale.

I received a complimentary digital ARC of this title from the author as part of her private review group. This in no way affected my opinion of this title which I read and reviewed voluntarily.



My Review of

Christmas in Kilts

536156679

A Highland Holiday Box Set!

Reviewed at NetGalley ~ Nov. 01, 2017

by Bronwen Evans, May McGoldrick, Lecia Cornwall,

Lavinia Kent, & Terri Brisbin

“Sweet Home Highlands”

A Pennington Family Story

2018 RITA© AWARD FINALIST

Best Novella Category

RITA+Finalist[10]

File Size: 1656 KB

Print Length: 494 pages

Publisher: Swerve (October 31, 2017)

Publication Date: October 31, 2017

Sold by: Macmillan

Language: English

ASIN: B0746M7X9W

E-Book $4.99

Buy Now at:

kindlenookbutton-google-playibookskobo

Publisher’s Description:

Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall
When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans
She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent
What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick
An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

My Thoughts:

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
This was probably my least favorite as it was both unrealistic and somewhat predictable. I would give this novella a 3.25 of 5.0 star rating for storyline and characterization. I did like the ending though.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall
I am so used to Lecia’s fairytale like novels that this one was a bit of a disappointment.  The fact that the heroine already knew one of the men from her past did throw a bit of mystery into this story but it isn’t among my Lecia Cornwall favorites.
I gave this novella 3.75 of 5.0 stars for storyline and characterization.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans
I liked this story more than the first two. The hero isn’t really looking for love but he must marry to produce an heir. Our heroine is the sister of a friend and has loved him for a long time. She isn’t sure she can measure up to the memory of his dead wife though.
I gave this book 4.25 of 5.0 stars for storyline and characterization. It’s not the best this anthology has to offer though.

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent
This novella was one of the best of this collection. Our hero is not looking to marry. He has set out on a journey to actually stop the wedding of his sister to a most unsuitable friend. Our heroine has been left almost penniless after the death of her father and the subsequent inheritance of the title to a cousin who turned her out. She is headed to the home of an uncle who has offered to take her in.
This unlikely pair find themselves stranded together and just maybe our heroine has been compromised and our hero finds himself maybe an unwilling bridegroom.
This story was well written and comical at times. I gave it 4.5 of 5.0 stars for storyline and characterization.

*SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick
This is my favorite story with a desperate heroine who needs a way to keep custody of her precocious niece,

I gave this story 4.75 of 5.0 stars for storyline and characterization.

Will our hero be the answer to her prayers?

I always enjoy reading holiday romance. This is a good example.
I gave the collection as a whole 4.25 of 5.0 stars for storylines and character development and a sensual rating of 3.75 of 5.0 flames. Some of the stories had a more sensual storyline than others but none of them were overly explicit in nature.



Proudly Reviewing ARCs Through  NetGalley Since 2014

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