Genre: Historical

NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED by Sarah MacLean

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED by Sarah MacLeanNo Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #3
Published by Avon Genres: Historical
ReviewedbyShayna

All of London knows Temple to be the Killer Duke – the man who killed his father’s young bride the night before her wedding twelve years earlier.  Temple’s world came crashing down around him that fateful night and – worse of all – he cannot remember what happened.  Now he rules the underworld, powerful, frightening, and one of the four owners of The Fallen Angel.  Temple’s life is nothing like the one he was raised to live, but he’s (mostly) accepting of his fate.  Then Mara Lowe, the woman who he supposedly killed, shows up at his club, offering him redemption in exchange for his help.  Temple is furious, but now he has his chance for vengeance.  He just never expected to fall for the woman who ruined his life…

 

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished is a bit difficult for me to review.  I was so excited to start Temple and Mara’s story and expected a passionate, exciting romance the likes of which I know a talented author like Sarah MacLean can deliver.  To the book’s credit, there is passion, and a satisfying ending for the romance, but… this book was a bit of a miss for me.  Temple is out for blood when he learns that Mara deceived him and left him – and society – believing Temple to be a murderer.  He wants vengeance, which is understandable, but his plan to achieve it is poorly conceived and, quite frankly, illogical.  Rather than go the direct route and unmask Mara, he comes up with an overly complicated plan that can only be justified by the fact that this would be a very short story if everyone were straightforward.  As for Mara, I was somewhat disappointed in her as a heroine.  She had so much potential, but was frustratingly secretive for absolutely no logical reason.  I understood her actions of twelve years ago; they weren’t right, but they made sense when you take into account that she was a frightened teenager.  Ms. MacLean goes a bit overboard trying to redeem Mara, throwing everything in the story from orphans to a deranged brother to a pet pig.  Mara does develop a guilt complex, but I would have more respect for a heroine who doesn’t keep secrets arbitrarily and gives honest, straightforward apologies.

 

Even though I have a number of issues with Mara and Temple and was a bit frustrated at the lack of honest communication that made little sense (other than to further the plot), No Good Duke Goes Unpunished has its good moments.  Ms. MacLean’s prose is smooth and the story moves at an excellent pace.  When they are open and honest with one another, Temple and Mara make a great couple.  There are enough moments in the book that I enjoyed that the story isn’t a total loss for me.  And, as I previously mentioned, the ending of the story satisfied my romance-loving heart.  The Rules of Scoundrels series has had its ups and downs, but I finished Mara and Temple’s book looking forward to the final installment of the series, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover.

I MARRIED THE DUKE by Katharine Ashe

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
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I MARRIED THE DUKE by Katharine AsheI Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe
Series: Prince Catchers #1
Published by Avon Genres: Historical
ReviewedbyShayna

As children, the Caulfield sisters were told that the mysterious ring they possess will help them find out the truth of their parentage.  But for the secret to be revealed, one of the sisters must first marry a prince.  Arabella, the middle sister, carried her determination to marry a prince into adulthood.  Her latest employment – to prepare a prince’s sister for her London season – could be Arabella’s key to succeeding.  She just needs to get to her employer’s home.  And to do that, she must negotiate passage on the ship of a handsome pirate who tempts her to forget her lifelong goal.

 

Luc Westfall is no pirate, though he certainly looks the part.  In fact, Luc is the possible heir to a dukedom.  But he sees no need to let the pretty governess who catches his eye know that.  Luc has never met anyone like Arabella, and perhaps with a little seduction, he might be able to convince her that a potential duke could be a far more appealing prospect than a price.  But Luc may not get the chance to win the spirited Arabella’s heart if an old enemy of his has his way…

 

Katharine Ashe’s Prince Catchers series is off to a rollicking start with I Married the Duke.  I adored the first half of this book, thanks in no small part to the fabulous chemistry Arabella and Luc have.  When Arabella has a bad stroke of luck on her way to her new position, she manages to secure passage on the ship of a dashing pirate who is not all that he appears to be.  What follows is a journey fraught with sexual tension and the sparks that fly between Arabella and Luc make the story completely addictive.  When you have a sassy heroine and a seductive hero trapped together, you can’t go wrong.

 

So why isn’t this a perfect read for me?  Because everything fell apart in the second half of the book.  I don’t want to spoil the story by revealing what happens, so suffice it to say I Married the Duke becomes crowded, often disjointed, and unnecessarily complicated about halfway into the story.  Arabella and Luc – who are so charming for the first half of the story – argue, refuse to listen, and/or keep secrets for no discernable reason.  This is an incredible disappointment because the first half of the book is so much fun to read and I’m used to Ms. Ashe’s writing being a lot smoother.

 

While I Married the Duke left me feeling divided, the characters themselves are all wonderfully drawn.  Ms. Ashe has a talent for penning lively characters, which is why (even with the ups and downs of Arabella and Luc’s story) I won’t hesitate to dive right into the next Prince Catchers book, I Adored a Lord.

FORBIDDEN by Beverly Jenkins

FORBIDDEN by Beverly Jenkins

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Author
FORBIDDEN by Beverly JenkinsForbidden by Beverly Jenkins
Series: Old West #1
Published by Avon Genres: Historical, Western

Eddy Carmichael’s dream is to one day open her own restaurant.  With determination, she plans to move from Denver to San Francisco where there are more opportunities to be found.  However, along the way, Eddy quickly learns that being a young, beautiful, unaccompanied, black woman brings misfortune and difficulty.  After narrowly escaping a near death experience, Eddy is saved and nurtured back to health by a handsome white businessman.

 

A former Civil War Union solider, Rhine Fontaine enjoys the privileges of being a white man.  No one other than his siblings and his best friend/business partner know that his mother was black.  He has built a successful, respectable life in Virginia City, Nevada.  All is well until he crosses paths with the breathtakingly beautiful Eddy Carmichael.  For the first time in his life, Rhine wants to throw caution to the wind by being his true self and openly unite with the woman who sets his soul on fire.

 

I found Forbidden is a fascinating, enlightening, charming, and intriguing novel.  From the first page, I am mesmerized and dismayed by the historical aspects, attitudes, and opinions about race relations after slavery.  While, I fancy detailed sexual encounters that paints a very descriptive picture, the sensual interactions between Eddy and Rhine are sweet, ambiguous, and very satisfying.  Their courtship is pleasurable and very conventional for their time period.  Eddy is smart, hard-working, tough, and very wise especially when it comes to handling all the single townsmen attention.  Likewise, Rhine is multifaceted, smart, fair-minded, kind, and compassionate.  I so loved everything about this story.  From Rhine’s innermost turmoil, to Eddy’s inward strength.  Ms. Jenkins’ writing is so rich and factual that I could see Forbidden as a movie!  I Joyfully Recommend this book for all to enjoy.

MASTERING LOVE by Morticia Knight

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
MASTERING LOVE by Morticia KnightMastering Love by Morticia Knight
Series: Hampton Road Club #4
Published by Pride Publishing Genres: BDSM, Historical, MM
ReviewedbyLisa

Nestled in a Los Angeles suburb, the exclusive Hampton Road Club thrives.  It is a place where consenting adults can explore their Dominant and submissive personalities without censure.  Rich and powerful in the public eye, discretion is necessary to enjoy their private tastes.

 

Dismissed by his Master for a younger virginal sub Evan’s life is a mess.  Evan can’t even go back to his previous Master because he recently found a permanent submissive.  A Hampton Road Club member has been kind enough to offer the sub the use of a small guesthouse at the rear of the Dominant’s property.

 

Master Ned Wilkinson has sampled quite a few D/s clubs as business took him around the country.  Deciding that the Hampton Road Club is the perfect fit Ned makes plans to settle in the area, permanently join the club, and chose a virginal sub of his own.

 

Persuaded to attend the club one evening Evan is introduced to Master Ned and agrees to a night together.  The sub and Dom are perfectly matched and enjoy a blissful joining.  The next day Evan is heartbroken when he learns that Master Ned also plans to find a virginal sub rather than re-train an older one.  Too late Ned comes to his senses.  The damage is done.  At this point convincing Evan of his worth will be a long, slow road.  Luckily Ned can’t wait to get started.

 

The roaring twenties come to life in Mastering Love where a complicated D/s relationship is thoroughly explored.  Evan’s confidence is crumbling badly.  Master Ned is partly to blame and willing to make things right.  Their story plays out in this character driven, expansive plotline.  Very descriptive the romance slowly unfolds.  A solid, pleasant tale Mastering Love plays out as expected.  It is Evan and Ned’s messed up romance that make this story worthwhile.

 

DARK BEFORE THE RISING SUN by Laurie McBain

DARK BEFORE THE RISING SUN by Laurie McBain

I received this book for free from Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Reviewer
DARK BEFORE THE RISING SUN by Laurie McBainDark Before the Rising Sun by Laurie McBain
Series: Dominick Trilogy
Published by Sourcebooks Genres: Historical
ReviewedbyMelissa

Lady Rhea Claire and her new husband Dante Leighton are trying to find their way in their new marriage while dealing with her family. A family that isn’t exactly pleased that their much loved daughter has married such a scoundrel, even if he is reformed. While awaiting the birth of their child, Dante plots his revenge against the man he holds responsible for death of his mother and the destruction of his ancestral home. Can they win with so much stacked against them?

 

Dark Before the Rising Sun is the conclusion of Rhea and Dante’s love story from Chance the Winds of Fortune. Both Dark Before the Rising Sun and Chance the Winds of Fortune are re-releases of titles that were originally published in the 80’s. I read them when they first came out and to this day they are two of my favorite all time historical romances. Books that I have on my keepershelf to be re-read when the mood strikes. Dark Before the Rising Sun comes from a writer who is a true storyteller.  Readers who have never had the chance to read Laurie McBain shouldn’t miss out on this chance!

CHANCE THE WINDS OF FORTUNE by Laurie McBain

CHANCE THE WINDS OF FORTUNE by Laurie McBain

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THE BEDDING PROPOSAL by Tracy Anne Warren

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THE EARL I ADORE by Erin Knightley

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THE HIGHLANDER TAKES A BRIDE by Lynsay Sands

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ONLY A PROMISE by Mary Balogh

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MIRAGE by Monica Burns

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THE BUTCHER AND THE BEAST by Sean Michael

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THE DUKE’S GUIDE TO CORRECT BEHAVIOR by Megan Frampton

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CATCH A FALLING HEIRESS by Laura Lee Guhrke

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THE DUKE’S DILEMMA by Grace Burrowes

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FOUR NIGHTS WITH THE DUKE by Eloisa James

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THE WARLORD’S WIFE by Sandra Lake

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IN THE HANDS OF THE OUTLAW by Renee LaRuse

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CROSSING OVER by Christopher Riley

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THE PILLAR by Kim Fielding

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