Wednesday, August 12, 2015

3 More Quick and Dirty Reviews

I've got another trio of reviews for you--two books that were meh for me, and one that I quite liked. One features three erotic lawyer-themed short stories, and the other two are historical romance. Click through to see what I think belongs on your wishlist and what I recommend skipping!

Never Resist a Rake by Mia Marlowe
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Book Two in the Somerfield Park series
Historical Romance
Published June 2, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Rising author Mia Marlowe continues her brand-new Regency series with adventure, controversy, and most importantly, sizzling seduction...

John Fitzhugh Barrett is surprised to discover that instead of being a bastard, he’s the legitimate heir to the Somerset marquessate. Once word gets out that he must continue the Somerset line, eligible bachelorettes from across the country descend upon Somerfield Park, hoping to snatch John up before it’s too late. But John has no interest in a woman who’s only after his title.

Rebecca Kearsey, the daughter of a threadbare viscount, is the only one who understands. However, as her desire for John begins to build, she becomes painfully aware that she isn’t considered grand enough by Polite Society to be a future marchioness. Intrigued by the idea of challenging society’s rigid values, John’s interest in Rebecca grows. But can she show him that love is more than just childish rebellion?

My Thoughts:

Never Resist a Rake was a mostly enjoyable read, though I felt like something was missing.

John Fitzhugh Barrett is a man caught up in teenage rebellion long after he can use his age to excuse it. His fortunes have improved suddenly, and that's really the crux of the book. He's changed his lifestyle, but not for the better. In fact, he's living down to the worst expectations society had of him when he was thought to be a bastard.

Rebecca Kearsey is a young woman who knows she's out-ranked by John, despite his interest in her. I did enjoy reading her trying to reconcile his interest with her assumptions about her own fate.

But! There was a twist in the romance mid-way through, and it had me scratching my head. I never really felt like all the pieces came together for me. I think it's worth grabbing if you're a historical romance fan.

3.5 stars

Lawyer Up by Kate Allure
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Book Two in the Meeting Men series
Published August 4, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


From exciting debut author Kate Allure comes three sizzling-hot, deliciously taboo erotic romances to stoke your mood.

Wrongly accused in Attorney-Client Privileges, sexy but innocent Beth has nowhere to turn but straight into the arms of hotshot L.A. lawyer, Jon. Can this attorney manage to get her off in time?

Liza reaches a meeting of the minds-and more-when she unleashes her inhibitions and gives herself over to the primal allure of Main Street lawyer Hawk in Of Unsound Mind and Body.

In Of Writs and Writhing, fearless defense attorney Pat gets more than she bargained for when she goes toe-to-toe with New Orleans' infamous Playboy Judge. When things get heated both in and out of the courtroom, more than temperatures rise.

My Thoughts:

I reviewed the first book in the Meeting Men series earlier this year, and didn't love it. That book was doctor themed, while this sequel, Lawyer Up is, as you might expect, lawyer themed. 

Again we get a collection of three erotic short stories. The first one is a shoe-horned erotic-romance that I really didn't like at all. The heroine is an arrested-case-of-mistaken-identity who leans heavily on her lawyer-savior to get back on her feet. There's way too much idolization of the lawyer, and inequality in the relationship, despite a last minute effort to assure the reader the heroine wants to feel like an equal. The whole thing made me uncomfortable, which is the last thing erotica should aim for. Fortunately, if you skip this one, the other two stories in the book are better.

The second story had a certain, ships-passing-in-the-night quality to it, that I really liked, and a very mild dose of kink. The third had more kink, and I think it was the best of the bunch. The characters were better developed, and that had me more engaged so the erotic scenes packed more punch. 

If you're an Allure fan, you might love this one, but I recommend passing on it. I *loved* the cover (as love the cover of the earlier book in the series too), and that's how I got lured into reading this one. But I won't be back for more in the series...unless the cover makes me forget I've read and not loved the first two books.

3 stars

The Major's Faux Fiancée by Erica Ridley
Intrepid Reads
Book Four in the Dukes of War series
Historical Romance
Published June 1, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


When Major Bartholomew Blackpool learns the girl-next-door from his childhood will be forced into an unwanted marriage, he returns home to play her pretend beau. He figures now that he's missing a leg, a faux fiancée is the best an ex-soldier can get. He admires her pluck, but the lady deserves a whole man--and he'll ensure she gets one.

Miss Daphne Vaughan hates that crying off will destroy Major Blackpool's chances of finding a real bride. She plots to make him jilt her first. Who cares if it ruins her? She never wanted a husband anyway. But the major is equally determined that she break the engagement. With both of them on their worst behavior, neither expects their fake betrothal to lead to love...

My Review:

I enjoyed The Major's Faux Fiancée while I was reading it, and I'll definitely go back for more in the Dukes of War series. I found that Daphne and Bartholomew were quite endearing in their desire to protect each other, though both Daphne's guardian and Bartholomew's parents were a little over-the-top. 

The book hinges on a trope I like quite a bit - childhood friends, reunited later in life who form a relationship. I also quite enjoyed Bartholomew as a returned and wounded soldier. The contrast of damaged with that warrior personality is something I really dig into and I particularly love that Bartholomew isn't all alpha male, but instead quite the former (returned?) peacock, with his fashion-forward nature. 

That all said, the book didn't really stick to me after I finished it.  Still, it was a good read, and I recommend it for fans of romance.

4 stars

I've become quite a fan of the wounded warrior hero, in a historical or modern context, and would love to do a feature week celebrating 'wounded warriors' finding love. If you have any recommendations for upcoming or new releases of that sort, please share them in the comments!

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