The Earl, the Vow, and the Plain Jane by Cheryl Bolen–Review

BolenRelease date: June 12, 2018
Available for pre-order NOW!

Bereft of beauty as well as fortune, the exceedingly plain Miss Jane Featherstone has failed to attract any suitor during her three Seasons. Rather than be a burden to her brother and his obnoxious wife, Miss Featherstone vows to accept the first man who asks—even though she’s always worshipped a lord who’s far above her touch. . .

Lord Slade must marry an heiress in order to honor the deathbed vow he made to his father, and he needs Miss Featherstone’s help in wooing her beautiful cousin. After her initial anger, Miss Featherstone agrees to his scheme, telling him she’s doing so because she admires his Parliamentary record of humanitarian legislation and his reverence for truth. But the more he’s with the two cousins, the more attracted he becomes to Miss Featherstone. What’s a man of his word to do? Break a vow to a beloved father—or follow his heart with Miss Featherstone?

*******

It didn’t take me long to read this book, probably only two sittings. I liked the story. I loved the premise behind it. The characters were okay, too. But, that was it. They were just okay. Not spectacular, not extraordinary, and I would not call Lord Slade an alpha male at any turn, for any reason. Obviously a vow to a dying father was important, but a man caring for three sisters should have realized (way before he did) that those left alive are far more important than any vow, particularly minors in his care. He was only a man and Jane was only an average woman–the Plain Jane, I suppose. I expected much more from these characters. By their descriptions, I envisioned totally different people.

I really felt like the book was missing some umph.

Regardless, there were a lot of things within the story I liked, otherwise I would have taken much longer to read it. There were also things (and characters) I really hated, which, to a certain degree, was the reason I stuck around to finish the story.

I really hated the younger cousin, Sarah, and I desperately wanted somebody to shove a pie in her face–unfortunately, no pies landed. Major bummer, right? She was a bit sure of herself and, even though she was young, I really think she could have taken better care of her words regarding beauty and Miss Featherstone.

Some people, amirite?

This was a very sweet romance, too, so not really the sort of book I’m used to picking up. I tend to read racier, edgier, faster paced books. When I, on purpose, pick up a sweet romance, I expect for there to be some sort of major conflict or, at the very least, some really warm scenes. In this book, a lot of that was really lost. To add insult to injury, so to say, the ending unfolded too quickly for the amount of build up behind it. I’m okay with knowing what’s going to happen before it does (and any reader can tell you this is very common), but I really dislike being let down in the delivery of these happenings.

I can’t say that I can give a recommendation for this book to anyone unless I give them a full report of the letdowns as well as the good points, so you have all been warned. Three stars.

 

 

 

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5 Summer Books I Can’t Wait To Read

Here is my can’t-wait-for-it list. I am positive that if you know me personally, you already know I’m chomping at the bit for numbers 1 & 2. Particularly 2. I always recommend Amanda Ashley to paranormal romance lovers and ya know what? She seems to be a very nice person. I enjoy knowing that lol.

*** There will be a review in this blog. I already have an ARC or e-galley. 
****I do not have a copy of this book yet, but I’ve either pre-ordered or will be ordering soon. 

serpentine

  1. Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton (August)

    Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome anything that faces her. But this time, there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight . . .

     A remote Florida Island is a perfect wedding destination for fellow US marshal and best friend Edward’s upcoming nuptials. For Anita, the vacation is a much welcomed break as it’s the first trip she gets to take with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…

     In that tropical paradise, Micah has discovered a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

     When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blow-out within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall.  Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places—help that she will most certainly regret—if she survives at all, that is…

    Ashley

  2. Twilight Desires by Amanda Ashley (September)  ****

    Sofia Ravenwood was once fascinated by vampires—their seductive power, their inhuman strength, their dark desires. Then one of them attacked her family, and she threw out her Goth attire and vowed to keep clear of her enemies. Until she heard about Ethan Parrish: a sweet, sizzling-hot former college football player, turned into a vampire against his will.

    Wandering the deserted streets of Morgan Creek, Wyoming, Ethan’s sure he’ll be alone forever—a monster like him deserves nothing else. Then beautiful, complicated Sofia agrees to meet him, fangs and all. The need she ignites in him is more than just the pulse of her blood or the scent of her skin. But he’s not the only bloodsucker desperate to make her his own . . .

  3. The Vixen by Christi Caldwell (August)Vixen

    USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell pits a fiercely independent beauty against a devilish investigator.

    Set apart by her ethereal beauty and fearless demeanor, Ophelia Killoran has always been a mystery to those around her—and a woman they underestimated. No one would guess that she spends her nights protecting the street urchins of St. Giles. Ophelia knows what horrors these children face. As a young girl, she faced those horrors herself, and she would have died…if not for the orphan boy who saved her life.

    A notorious investigator, Connor Steele never expected to encounter Ophelia Killoran on his latest case. It has been years since he sacrificed himself for her. Now, she hires orphans from the street to work in her brother’s gaming hell. But where does she find the children…and what are her intentions?

    Ophelia and Connor are at odds. After all, Connor now serves the nobility, and that is a class of people Ophelia knows firsthand not to trust. But if they can set aside their misgivings and work together, they may discover that their purposes—and their hearts—are perfectly aligned.

    **NOTE** This is the second book in a series. I’ve downloaded the first and intend to read it soon. However, I’ve read books and stories by Christi Caldwell before (recently, actually) so I’m looking forward to this title as well as the others in the series. 

  4. The Howling by Erin McCarthy (June) ***howling

    Beneath the silver moon . . .

    For six months the nightmares have been chasing Liv Lugaru out of her sleep. The same terrifying dream, the same fevered wolves panting after her, their hot breath getting closer and closer as a full moon hangs heavy in the night sky—until she wakes up drenched in sweat, with her fiancé, the brother of the man who broke her heart, gazing down at her . . .

    Six months ago, Sebastian was almost killed by his brother in a power struggle within their werewolf pack. His disappearance opened the way for his brother to console Liv, win her trust . . . without ever telling her of their true heritage. Now Sebastian is ready to reclaim his rightful place—to rise up with the moon and claim the only woman he’s ever loved . . .

5. Vampire’s Faith by Rebecca Zanetti ****vampire's faith.jpg

The Dark Protectors are back!  All new stories and a great entry point for new fans!

Vampire King Ronan Kayrs wasn’t supposed to survive the savage sacrifice he willingly endured to rid the world of the ultimate evil. He wasn’t supposed to emerge in this time and place, and he sure as hell wasn’t supposed to finally touch the woman who’s haunted his dreams for centuries. Yet here he is, in an era where vampires are hidden, the enemy has grown stronger, and his mate has no idea of the power she holds.

Dr. Faith Cooper is flummoxed by irrefutable proof that not only do vampires exist . . . they’re hot blooded, able to walk in sunlight, and shockingly sexy. Faith has always depended on science, but the restlessness she feels around this predatory male defies reason. Especially when it grows into a hunger only he can satisfy–that is if they can survive the evil hunting them both.

*****

Did you notice a trend? Because there are an awful lot of vampires in that list. And some wolves. No apologies! I said what I said!

I’d be curious to see what you’re looking forward to also. 😀

❤ XOXO Rhiannon M.

Killing Town by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

killing townAvailable NOW from Amazon.com
Review date: Soon

Mike Hammer steals a ride on a train upstate to Killington. But he is welcomed by a nasty surprise: he is accused by police of raping and murdering a young woman near the freight yards. Roughed up by the cops and facing a murder charge, Hammer’s future looks bleak. Only a beautiful blonde, Melba Charles–daughter of powerful Senator Charles–might possibly save him… if he pays the price.

But why would Melba help save a man she has never met? And, more to the point, where is the real murderer?

From a brittle, brown manuscript, the first Mike Hammer novel–begun by Mickey Spillane in the mid-forties and completed seventy years later by Max Allan Collins–is a gift to mystery fans on the occasion of the noir master’s 100th birthday.

*****

I’ve read from this series before, and I wasn’t blown away then, nor was I blown away now. I didn’t hate the story, but I just felt like it was more of the same old stuff. There was nothing in this book to stand out from what was in the last. That isn’t to say that someone who has been following these books wouldn’t like them–they’re really just not for me.

I will point out, however, that the writing is strong and the voice behind the book is definitely pronounced. Those who have been following the books will certainly enjoy them. Where hard case crime goes, I’m generally a  hit or miss kinda reader. Unfortunately, I believe the Mickey Spillane/Max Allan Collins books are a miss for me–but only by a hair. I feel like something is missing.

Tall, Dark, and Deadly by Kharma Kelley

deadly

Well, this book is a big NO from me.

I was excited to read this book. The premise is solid and interesting, but I couldn’t make it to the fourth chapter. I would suggest the book be pulled for editing and re-released after some edits and revisions. Two stars because had it not been for the glaring errors and editorial issues, I could have really loved this book.

Example: Somewhere in the second or third chapter, author uses the word “just” three times in one sentence.

Unlike the majority of my reviews, this was not an advance copy. It’s been out for a few years now so I really see no sense in this sort of issue. Most books will have errors, but not one right after the other within the span of three or four pages.

I know that there are some really good reviews on Amazon for this book already, but it does make me wonder if those readers actually read with their eyes open because I seriously had a hard time getting through the beginning. Maybe I’m just an asshole.

**shrugs innocently**

But, the editorial issues were not the only ones.

I felt like the main character, Chloe, was an absolute brat. I didn’t like her, not even a little bit. She was immature and, at times, I wanted to smack her teeth out. Ethan was a little bit more likable, but given what I know of Chloe, I found it unbelievable that he would ever want anything to do with her romantically–but, keep in mind, I didn’t make it far enough to see how that all happened. I’m assuming she must have had a drastic personality change somewhere in the middle of the book.

I really do hate it when things like this happen. I don’t think anyone downloads a book to their e-reader and actually wants to dislike it. Some of the reviews on Amazon come from some notable reviewers, so I’m going to investigate further–this is NOT the author’s only book and I do like the premise, so I’d like to give her another chance to entertain me. After all, vampire books seem to be disappearing these days. Or, not showing up anywhere at all.

Rogues Rush In: A Regency Duet by Tessa Dare and Christi Caldwell

rogues rush in

Release date: 5/22/18
Available at Amazon.com now!

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors Tessa Dare and Christi Caldwell come together in this smart, sexy, not-to-be-missed Regency Duet! 

Two scandalous brides…
Two rogues who won’t be denied…

His Bride for the Taking by NYT Bestselling author Tessa Dare
It’s the first rule of friendship among gentlemen: Don’t even think about touching your best friend’s sister. But Sebastian, Lord Byrne, has never been one for rules. He’s thought about touching Mary Clayton—a lot—and struggled to resist temptation. But when Mary’s bridegroom leaves her waiting at the altar, only Sebastian can save her from ruin. By marrying her himself. 

In eleven years, he’s never laid a finger on his best friend’s sister. Now he’s going to take her with both hands. To have, to hold…and to love.

His Duchess for a Day by USA Today Bestseller Christi Caldwell 
It was never meant to be…
That’s what Elizabeth Terry has told herself while trying to forget the man she married–her once best friend. Passing herself off as a widow, Elizabeth has since built a life for herself as an instructor at a finishing school, far away from that greatest of mistakes. But the past has a way of finding you, and now that her husband has found her, Elizabeth must face the man she’s tried to forget.

It was time to right a wrong…
Crispin Ferguson, the Duke of Huntington, has spent the past years living with regret. The young woman he married left without a by-your-leave, and his hasty elopement had devastating repercussions. Despite everything, Crispin never stopped thinking about Elizabeth. Now that he’s found her, he has one request—be his duchess, publicly, just for a day. 

Can spending time together as husband and wife rekindle the bond they once shared? Or will a shocking discovery tear them apart…this time, forever?

HIS BRIDE FOR THE TAKING by Tessa Dare

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I read on my computer during my morning coffee/breakfast/busywork ritual, which means it’s a short read, but a very entertaining one. One sitting is all you need.

I’ve read Tessa Dare before, so I was already familiar with her style. I felt like Mary was a likable character, but that sometimes her thought process was skewed. I think we all know a few people like that in our real lives, right? Sebastian, the hero, was rough and gruff and everything one might ask for in an alpha male, but I’m not sure I’d really call him a rogue. Nevertheless, the story was great and the romance within was sweet. Details were given where needed and kept away where not needed. Perfect for a night in when you might have to get up early the next day.

HIS DUCHESS FOR A DAY by Christi Caldwell

I would have liked this in a longer story–I don’t feel like the characters got their moment in the sun as they should have. I don’t feel like it was fair to them to cram the entirety of their romance into a few short chapters. BUT, I have no reason to not suggest this story to other readers. After all, if the only problem I can come up with is that it’s just not long enough, then the writer has done her job and well beyond. I am entertained and I want more.

Crispin Ferguson is the kind of storybook romance novel hero readers (myself included) tend to go bananas for. There is an element of mystery, a gentleman with a reputation that precedes him, and by description, he’s handsome. Oh, and he’s a duke, so he’s loaded. He’s every nineteenth century woman’s fantasy man. His bride, Elizabeth, is a woman most can relate to and identify with in some way or another. I felt the romantic scenes were nicely written and appropriate within the story.

I have absolutely no reason to not give this book my recommendation. I actually really enjoy shorter stories sometimes because there are days when a gal just likes a light read. I’m not someone with a lot of time on my hands, so when I read something (short or long) I enjoy, I feel like my minutes and hours were more than well spent and I can not wait to see what’s next from BOTH of these authors.

Enchanted By the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall

enchanted by the highlanderEnchanted by the Highlander is the fourth book in a charming and enchanting Scottish series that reimagines fairytales by Lecia Cornwall.

Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything is his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she’s promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind…

***

I really enjoyed this story. I was surprised to learn there are others in this series, so I’ll be trying to look those up today, too. As of right now, my reading queue is ridiculously long, but one more won’t hurt.

Okay, three more.

I enjoyed the storytelling and the fairytale aspect to the story. It’s a feel good romantic read. Gillian is a woman I can identify with in a lot of ways and I think maybe that’s what makes the story so appealing. I think a lot of women could probably picture themselves in her shoes, if only for a moment. But, it isn’t just Gillian. All of the characters are likable and believable. Bravo, Lecia Cornwall.

The plot of the story is so fantastic and that’s how the fairytale vibe kicks in. It’s very Cinderella-like, but I found myself holding my breath for Gillian and John throughout the story. I knew there would be a happy ending, but at times I found myself worrying how it would come about. I wasn’t disappointed and I can’t wait to find the other books in the series!

You can find your own copy at Amazon!

Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake

51OyUjnitXLThe author of the “wonderful” (Tamora Pierce) Baba Yaga novels and Dangerously Charming is back with a magically mesmerizing new tale about the dashing and daring Broken Riders…
 
The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them—and their new callings are even more powerful…
 
Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation…

Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one…

After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair—one that will force them to either find new strength together or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.

***

This isn’t the first book by Deborah Blake I’ve read and it certainly will not be the last. I don’t want to give everything away, but I can say that the characters (as always) are fantastically written, the dialog is wonderful–and, to the point–and, most importantly, these books are not books you want to put down. Not even for a moment.

After a quick trip to Amazon.com, I see that Deborah Blake has an entire catalog of books written in the same world. There are the Broken Rider novels and the Baba Yaga novels. AND, from what I’ve seen, you can read them all out of order and not miss anything (although, if there IS an order, I’m going to find it and start there to read the rest lol).

I don’t have any big problems with this book and I’m pretty sure there are no small ones either. Go buy it. You’re welcome.