Romance Novel Reviews – Roundup #6 – Week of June 22, 2015

Put Up Your Duke by Megan Frampton

Read Entire Review at All About Romance

Review Excerpt:Put Up Your Duke

“Although this is part of Ms Frampton’s current Dukes Behaving Badly series, Put Up Your Duke doesn’t seem to involve characters from previous books and can easily be read as a standalone.

I enjoyed the story very much. Ms Frampton displays a lovely deftness of touch and a sense of humour that reminded me of writers such as Tessa Dare and Maya Rodale, and she has created a couple of very engaging characters in her two principals. Nicholas is such a loveable rogue that he’s impossible to dislike; he is desperate to get Isabella into bed, but does the gentlemanly thing and waits until she’s comfortable with the idea, even though he is unaware that his bride is perhaps not taking his gentlemanliness in the manner in which it is intended. Isabella has grown up in a cage, albeit a gilded one, and finds it difficult to express her own wishes and desires, which makes perfect sense, given the way she has been treated by her odious parents.

Put Up Your Duke hit the spot for me; it doesn’t depend on anything other than the central romance to drive the story forward, and that romance is well put-together as Nicholas and Isabella are allowed to get to know each other before getting frisky between the sheets.

Current Price – $5.99
Length – 384 pages
Genre – Historical Romance

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Game Play by Linda Archer

Read Entire Review at Smart Bitches Trashy Books

Review Excerpt:Game Play

“The book started off wonderfully. I immediately took a shining to Sam, our heroine. Samantha Yates is the only child to a hockey-loving family. She’s played for most of her life – childhood, college, even for the women’s team at the Olympics. The woman has a damn silver medal, and makes me feel totally guilty for eating Haagen Das for dinner. Used to operating in a boy’s club sport, Sam is a tomboy, and I found it refreshing.

Dylan Rylie is a young member of the Minnesota Glaciers with dreams of nailing a big contract. He’s carefully crafted a Southern playboy image, complete with Texan drawl and cowboy hat. Hockey is his end all and be all.

I will say that Game Play has one of the cutest endings I’ve read in a while, even if getting there drove me bananas. It was fit for a romantic comedy, complete with Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me” playing in the background.

Current Price – $3.99
Length – 248 pages
Genre – Contemporary Romance

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Claimed by the Highland Wolf by Stephanie Marks (Novella)

Read Entire Review at Smexy Books

Review Excerpt:Claimed by the Highland Wolf

“Genre mesh. Paranormal and historical/Highland romance…and it finally works. I have read a few novels that go awfully awry when the authors tries to go on trend and toss in a shifter or other paranormal twist and it just ruins everything. Absolutely not the case with Claimed by the Highland Wolf.

They were not a love match- obviously, but there was the cutest “Beauty and the Beast” moment that made me a little nostalgic. As a matter of fact, a few shades of the Disney Classic were present- but not at all obnoxious- which was a feat in and of itself.

Ignoring the fact that this could be a kick ass full lengther-and working with what I’ve got, I still recommend Claimed by The Highland Wolf, if for no other reason that it is interesting. Suspend reality, ignore any distaste you may have for insta-love and appreciate the story for what it is and you will experience something quite special. Super quick read, I root for Glenna and Alastair! I was left wanting, – but not at all in an irate “why-did-I-read-this-serial-bullshat” kind of way.

Current Price – $2.99
Length – 83 pages
Genre – Paranormal/Historical Romance

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Mind Sweeper by AE Jones

Read Entire Review at Smart Bitches Trashy Books

Review Excerpt:
Mind Sweeper
“It’s clever, it’s funny, and it immediately has the reader wanting to know what the protagonist’s job entails, and what sort of world she lives in. The good thing is, the writing is like this pretty much throughout. We spend our time in Kyle’s headspace, and she is sarcastic and funny and has a chip on her shoulder the size of a large boulder. All of this makes for an entertaining narrative voice. The worldbuilding is also excellent, and the secondary characters and their relationships really made this book for me.

One area where Jones excelled with this book was the plot and the pacing. (Pacing seems to be something that a lot of new authors have difficulty with, so bonus points for leaping that hurdle with style.) There were some good twists, and the story tends to suck you in so that you can’t put it down, which I think is largely due to Kyle’s voice and the relentless pace. It’s a good, solid paranormal detective story. Jones managed to throw in a few plot twists that I didn’t expect, which was also pleasing – I especially liked Dalton’s Deep Dark Secret, which turned out to be entirely different to my theories on the subject. I will probably read the sequel, because I want to know more about what is happening in this world. Also, I want to see the leader of the Pavel demons go down. I know he’s up to no good.

It’s a nice, easy read for a day when you just want a fun plot in a well-thought-out world and don’t want to think too much. For those who don’t like such things, I’d note that there is a fair bit of violence in this story, however, it mostly takes place off-screen. I’m a wuss about violence, and on the whole, it didn’t bother me here – in fact, weirdly, I found it a fairly cosy read, perhaps because of the family-style interactions within Kyle’s team.

Current Price – $3.99
Length – 370 pages
Genre – Paranormal Romances

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The Rake to Rescue Her by Julia Justiss

Read Entire Review at All About Romance

Review Excerpt:
The Rake to Rescue Her
“This book is the third title in Julia Justiss’ Ransleigh Rogues series and is probably the best of the lot. I reviewed the second book in this series and the “Rogues” sobriquet got on my nerves just a bit. But the “Rogues” aspect was toned down a bit in this installment and I think that was a good decision on Ms. Justiss’ part. Some things are just a little too cheesy to stomach.

This story is really wonderful for the most part. There is a poignancy about it that tears at the heart strings. Alastair could have been an ass (and he most likely meant to be one), but he realizes early on that Diana has been badly wounded. Getting her to reveal why and how she has been wounded is the crux of the story. The timing the author uses to reveal Diana’s painful past is not drawn out, but realistic enough not to fall into the big mistake trope. This reader almost felt like I was in the hero’s head and as anxious to discover her secret as was Alastair. Diana as a tragic figure could have been drawn as an extreme character, but Ms. Justiss had a deft touch in her characterization so she does not become a caricature of an abused spouse. And Alastair is extremely likeable once you get past his impulsive decision to use Diana sexually to get her out of his system; he is compassionate and patient.

Current Price – $4.99
Length – 294 pages
Genre – Historical Romances

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