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A Lady Never Lies
Juliana Gray
The Miracle Thief
Iris Anthony
Thrive Energy Cookbook: 150 Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes
Brendan Brazier

The Trouble with Honor (HQN Books)

The Trouble With Honor - Julia London Life is about to have some pretty major changes for Honor Cabot and her three sisters. Her step-father is very sick and none of them are sure what will happen once he passes. Her step-brother Augustine is set to marry Monica, who isn’t too keen on sharing her future home with 4 sisters in law.

I have to admit I had a really hard time with this book at first. I didn’t particularly like Honor and the way she wanted to go about destroying Augustine and Monica’s relationship to suit her. I found her to be spoiled, stubborn and a bit unlikeable. But as the story went on and she fell for George, she grew on me.

Honor’s scheme to have George seduce Monica away from Augustine backfired in a big way. Monica wasn’t an easy mark or willing to throw away her love with Augustine for a charming rogue. Despite Honor’s best efforts, it wasn’t going the way she planned. In the end it was Honor who was the one who was charmed.

Monica isn’t the bad guy in this story, but rather the pawn of an overly ambitious mother who has been slowly manipulating her. Making her believe that Honor and her sisters are frittering away Augustine’s inheritance. Along with their mother who is slowly losing her memory, which could be a stigma on her daughter’s future.

Despite the rough start and a character that was hard to warm up to, the book turned out to be a pretty good read. Honor grew up, fell in love and gave up on her scheming ways. Now I’m curious to find out what happened to Grace who vanished to Bath late in the story. She was willing to do anything to help her Mother and sisters, even if it ended in scandal! I’m hoping she’ll have an interesting story.

Would I recommend this book? Despite everything, yes – Julia is a very talented writer and I adore her books. I look forward to seeing what happens next to the Cabot sisters.

Once Upon a Masquerade (Entangled Scandalous)

Once Upon a Masquerade - Tamara Hughes Life hasn’t been the easiest for Rebecca and her family over the last decade. She lost her beloved Mother and watched her Father fall into depression, gambling and drinking. Leaving her to fend for herself, she’s taken a position with the wealthy family in hopes of helping her Father climb out of debt. Unfortunately, Rebecca isn’t prepared for everything that comes along with her Father’s issues – including someone trying to kill her.

In a desperate act, she dresses as a debutante and attends a masked costume ball in hopes of finding help with her predicament. Her friend and fellow maid Mary convinces her that getting a wealthy protector to pay off the debt is the only way to save her Father.

Mr. Black is intrigued by the young woman he meets at the ball, but something about her seem familiar and he can tell she’s keeping something from him. He decides to find out more about Miss Bailey, but manages to get himself pulled into her problems.

This was an interesting twist on the traditional “Cinderella” story, but with a bit of mystery, intrigue and murder thrown in for good measure. Miss Endicott plays the roll of the ‘evil’ step sisters; bossing and bullying Rebecca. Mary plays the pseudo roll of the ‘fairy godmother’ helping find a dress and means to the ball to meet Prince Charming.

I liked that Rebecca was willing to do whatever she could to help her Father, who has lost his way after the death of his wife. I felt for her, she loved him so much and was going to give herself away to get enough money to pay off the debt. Christopher isn’t the typical Prince Charming type hero, but was there to help Rebecca – despite his misgivings. These two manage to get into piles of trouble, almost get themselves killed and… well you’ll have to read the book to find out more!

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed Tamara’s take on Cinderella and her great characters. I wonder what happened to Miss Endicott though and Mr. Henley – who I found very funny! I was hooked from the beginning until the very last page; devoured the book in a matter of hours. Would I read more by this author? Yes, I look forward to seeing what Tamara comes up with next.

Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend (Jewels of the Ton)

Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend - Shana Galen The Jewels of the Ton aren’t what they seem. Rumours swirl of their conquests and the list of men they’ve seduced grows weekly. Lily is the last remaining Jewel, as Juliette and Fallon have married the loves of their lives and are living happily ever after.

What no one knows is that Lily is an agent of the Crown, and her mission is to uncover who is passing information to the enemy and protect the names of fellow agents. Unfortunately her target is the father of the man she once loved. Now she’s caught between the two men, between hate and love and faced with some tough choices.

Andrew is furious with Lily and his father. Especially when his father brings all his cronies and loose women to the family seat while his sister is in residence. He fears that his father will replace his mother with Lily, he adored his Mother; the one person who understood him. He can’t forgive his father for what he’s doing.

Lily really doesn’t want anything to do with Andrew’s father, but is on a mission and has to play the part. She wants nothing more then to explain things to him; but knows she can’t. Seeing him she realizes that she still has very deep feelings for him.

I adored Lily, she’s such a strong character. Andrew took a bit to warm up to, he didn’t treat Lily all that well in the first part of the book. He didn’t believe her, and was willing to poke, prod and manipulate her to get his way. Both of the have some pretty major obstacles to overcome before they can admit how they truly feel.

The banter, intrigue and mystery intertwined into this romance is wonderful. It was also great to hear about Juliette and Fallon and how they are doing with their husbands. The end had a bit of a twist, not quite what I expected! Shana did a fabulous job and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

Would I recommend this book? In a heartbeat. Shana is one talented writer who pulls you into a story and keeps you on the edge of your seat through the entire story. Her characters are so engaging and wonderfully written. Would I read more by this author? That goes without saying! I have quite a few of her titles on my bookcase and have her on my auto-buy list.

Cursed by Cupid (Entangled Flirts)

Cursed by Cupid (Entangled Flirts) - Wendy Sparrow At some point or another in all our inboxes we’ve had one of those annoying, weird and zany chain letters the promise true love, or luck for the rest of our lives if we pass it on to this many friends who pass it on to that many friends and so on and so on. We’ve all hit that delete button and not thought much of it.. until Tilly did just that.

Since that fateful day Tilly has had nothing but bad luck – and bad luck isn’t even the right word – it’s the worst possible luck ever! Disaster date after disaster date leaves Tilly believing she’ll never ever find someone she’ll have a second date with or break the curse.

Tilly meets Bryant after running into the door of his embroidery shop and spilling her milkshake all over herself and his door. This chance meeting sets them on a course of many disasters, lots of laughs and eventually a happily ever after. Bryant is willing to try anything to help break the curse and it’s had me giggling with all his suggestions on how to lift the dreaded Cupids Curse!

Would I recommend this book? Oh yes, it was probably one of the most fun reads I’ve had in a while. I laughed and sighed as Bryant tried to win over Tilly. The author created such a wonderful story line and had me hooked in such a short period of time. I wish the story had been longer! Would I read more by this author? Yes!

Scandalously Yours (The Hellions of High Street)

Scandalously Yours - Cara Elliott Olivia isn’t at all like the typical Miss out in society, she’s well read, very into politics and isn’t afraid to say exactly what is on her mind. The oldest of the Sloane sisters, she’s not interested in marriage, she would rather write political essays under the name “Beacon” for one of London’s biggest newspapers.

Wrexham is known as the “Perfect Hero” and despises the name. A retired military officer, he’s fought many battles – but none like the one with Olivia. Prescott (aka Scottie), Wrexham’s son is determined to find a new wife for his father and a Mother for him. He places an ad in a London newspaper to attract anyone who could replace the woman his father is considering – the one he calls “The Steel Corset”.

When Olivia and Wrexham meet for the first time, it’s over a rather unconventional game of chess. They battle with witty banter and she leaves Wrexham curious and wanting to know more about this woman. He’s intrigued by her – which gets them both into some trouble!

The two propose a truce, when Wrexham asks Olivia to help him with his speech for parliament on a controversial bill helping soldiers and some much needed social reform. In the midst of all this Wrexham makes some rather nasty enemies and his son is kidnapped!

I adored Olivia and Wrexham, they are probably one of my favorite couples. Neither of them care about rules of society and are looking for more. They have intelligent conversations, debate with one another and really care about making the world a better place. Both care very much for Scottie and are willing to risk scandal to rescue him from the clutches of Wrexham’s enemies.

Would I recommend this read? Most definitely! Cara has done a great job with this story and I couldn’t put it down. Olivia is a wonderful characters, so confident and unafraid of speaking her mind and being exactly who she is. She doesn’t care what society thinks of her, but rather what she thinks of herself. Would I read more by this author? In a heart beat. I will be looking for more in this series to see what happens to Anna and Caro.

The Sorcery Code: A Fantasy Novel of Magic, Romance, Danger, and Intrigue (Volume 1)

The Sorcery Code - Anna Zaires, Dima Zales Blaise wants to change things for the common people, to make magic more accessible to them and not just something the wealthy sorcerers use. When he attempts to create a magical object to make spell casting easier he inadvertently creates a beautiful woman – a naked woman to be exact.

When she was created Galina, known as Gala she knew nothing. No idea who she is, why she was in that room, who Blaise was – she’s innocent, curious and excited to learn new things. These two are setting out to change magic for the rest of the world, and not everyone is happy about it. Gala is in danger and Blaise will do anything to protect his creation.

This was a very different, but interesting read. Flipping between characters threw me off initially, but I really liked being able to see the perspectives each brought to the story. It was a unique way the author used each of them to elaborate and expand on the world he created.

Would I recommend this title? It’s a quick, unique and very different title that would appeal to a reader who is looking for something new and different to try. I liked how the story flowed from character to character, despite my initial worries. With the cliffhanger ending I’m curious how things end between everyone, so I’ll be looking for Dima’s next title when it comes out!

The Sum of All Kisses

The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn Life since Daniel and Hugh’s duel hasn’t quite been what Sarah’s hoped. Her coming out was delayed, which normally wouldn’t be such a HUGE deal. But it just so happens that season was a record for engagements and she wonders what might have been had she’d been out.

Now, Hugh and Daniel has made amends. Which is wonderful, but Sarah still holds Hugh responsible for her still being unmarried. The whole family has gathered to celebrate Daniel’s wedding – which includes Hugh. If the past is any sort of indication, Sarah is going to get a few words in with Hugh about how much she hates him.

As the story progresses, Sarah’s feeling for Hugh change. And her knowledge of what actually happened the night of the duel and the aftermath expands to include the deal Hugh made with his father. One kiss from Hugh and Sarah is lost – can she get past the event that nearly destroyed her family?

First off, I’m a huge fan of Julia Quinn. When she expanded the Bridgerton world by sharing the stories of the Smythe-Smith family I was thrilled. We’ve all read about their infamous musicals, and how badly everyone felt for the poor girls who had to perform. Now we get to see some happily ever after’s for them!

Sarah is an interesting character. She’s stubborn, opinionated and isn’t afraid to stand up for her family and defend against anyone or anything that could hurt them. At some point, it was a bit much – but overall I found her a great character. Hugh is troubled, stubborn, extremely smart and drives Sarah crazy. He’s one of Daniel’s closest friends, even with everything that’s happened in the past.

These two have a love/hate relationship. They are attracted to one another, but fight each other at every turn. When they are thrown together at a wedding, they are at each other’s throats. As she gets to know Hugh and the man he really is, not just the man who’s father was determined to kill Daniel – things change.

Overall, it wasn’t the best book I’ve read by Julia but it was a good read. I look forward to seeing what happens in the fourth and final book in the Smythe-Smith quartet. For anyone who hasn’t read this series yet, it is a fun one and I would highly recommend it!

SNAP: New Talent (The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles)

SNAP: New Talent (The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles) - Michele Drier When Michele contacted me to review the second title in the SNAP series I was thrilled! Unfortunately I put off reading it for ages and finally got around to it late last year (2013). I loved the first book in the series, meeting the talented Maxie and her co-workers. Going along with her on her journey into the world of the Kandeskys, the vampire world and the feud with the Huszars.

In the second book we get a bit more detail on the feud, who is who and how things have progressed through the centuries. We delve into Jean-Louis past a bit and see how his relationship with Maxie develops. He tries his best to keep Maxie safe, despite her stubbornness and little adventures. Maxie does manage to get herself into some trouble, but thankfully Jean-Louis and his “family” are there to keep her from getting hurt or worse – killed.

I enjoyed this just as much as the first book in the series. See my review HERE. Michele has a great way with words that sucks you into the story and keeps you hooked right to the end. I’m looking forward to reading the next book PLAUGE: A Love Story – which is Stefan’s story.

Would I recommend this book? Yes! If you love vampires then this series is something you should check out. It’s a quick read with great characters. Would I read more by this author? Most definitely! Michele is great and has been very patient with me and my crazy schedule. She is a very talented writer, and I’m looking forward to reading more by her in the future.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy

Unleashing Mr. Darcy - Teri Wilson Elizabeth is a wonderful teacher who loses her job after a parent tries to bribe her into changing his son’s grade. In the process of standing up for herself she is put on suspension, leaving her job-less and unable to afford her apartment.

Lucky for Lizzy she met a wonderful couple at a dog show (while showing her gorgeous dog Bliss) and they ask her to come look after their dogs in England during show season. Who would say no to that? So Lizzy packs up, and is whisked away to wonderful London.

Unfortunately for Lizzy (or is it?), she runs into Darcy, Donovan Darcy that is. Breeder and judge – who she’s run into just recently in New York! It wasn’t exactly love at first sight for these two, it was definitely dislike or annoyance at first sight.

As a fan of Pride and Prejudice, I really enjoyed this modern take on the story. It had some great funny moments with the Scott family and their escapades as well as Lizzy and Donovan trying to fight the growing feelings and completely botching it.

This was a really cute novel, that had me hooked from page one until the end. It was a quick light read that I needed at that moment, and it made me smile. I look forward to seeing what else author Teri Wilson has coming next.

Cinderella Screwed Me Over (Entangled Select)

Cinderella Screwed Me Over - Cindi Madsen Darby has rules about dating, a list that has grown over the years after many bad dates, bad relationships and the not so charming princes she’s met. When Darcy meets Jake she accuses of him lying about who he is and manages to put her foot firmly in her mouth.

Jake doesn’t fit any of the prince profiles that Darby has laid out, and doesn’t meet any of her rules. But that doesn’t seem to stop his pursuit and how she feels about him. Even though Darby has sworn off love and dating she can’t help but fall for Jake – and is she ready to have her own happy ending?

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book as the case studies – the comparison to her exes was funny, witty, sarcastic and had me giggling - and eagerly looking for the next one. I really liked that Jake didn’t fit any typical profile that Darby had set out, he is a unique guy who really kept her on her toes.

These two have a rocky relationship – both of them are trying to figure out where they stand and how to make it work. Darcy is breaking all her rules and is afraid of getting her heart broken yet again. Opening up to Jake could be a mistake – is she willing to make it and see what happens?

Would I recommend this book? Yes! It was a great read. The writing flowed well, and hooked me right from the start. Cindi has a great writing style that I really enjoyed and can’t wait for more.

Somewhere to Dream

Somewhere to Dream - Genevieve Graham We return to the Cherokee village once more, but this time we are along side Maggie’s sister Adelaide – also known as Shadow Girl. Timid and fearful, young Adelaide has struggled with her gift, her life with the Cherokee and her sister moving away to a near by town.

A vision changes everything for Adelaide and the lives of the Cherokee. The man she was destined to marry is killed, and a captive is taken. The moment she sees Jesse she knows things will never be the same. The Cherokee believe that he is the reincarnation of her lost husband to be.

These two are interesting and are very troubled characters. Both of them have tragic pasts that haunt them and aren’t quite ready to let go of yet. As they befriend one another, Jesse sees another side of the people he’s been taught to hate and she sees that not all men are going to hurt her.

As they progress in their friendship they being to fall in love with one another, which plays right into the Cherokee’s plans – they want them together! Adelaide isn’t sure she’s ready for marriage and all it entails, and fights against the push.

This is probably one of my favorite books by Genevieve. The characters have such depth and such troubled souls – it was great seeing them learn to love and break free of what held them for so long. Adelaide is so much more intense then Maggie, she had a darkness that she fought free from. I loved her character right from the beginning!

Would I recommend this book? In a heart beat – Genevieve is such a talented writer who had me hooked from the beginning of this series until the last page of this book. I can’t wait to read more by her.

Geek Girls Don't Date Dukes

The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl - Gina Lamm Leah has seen her friend Jamie (from The Geek and the Scandalous Earl) fall in love with the most amazing man from the past. Now, she wants to find that same type of relationship for herself. She wants the love she reads about in romance novels, to be swept off her feet and is ready to jump into the past to find it.

As Leah arrives in the past she stumbles into the home of the Duke of Granville. She runs into a handsome man in the Duke’s quarters – who turns to be Avery, the Duke’s valet. She manages to convince Avery to help her with a job in the household – a maid. Unfortunately for Leah, not at all like the romance novels she reads.

Avery isn’t quite what he seems. He is not only a valet, but a prize fighter and manages to get himself into some trouble. Leah has gotten under his skin, which has him off kilter and confused. The pair are fighting their feelings and each one of them has their issues (and some doozies too!)

I was thrilled when I saw that Gina had a new book coming out – as I adored The Geek and the Scandalous Earl. I wasn’t disappointed either! Leah is funny, a romance lover and couldn’t wait to jump into the past to experience all the wonders she’s read about (something that any romance reader would love to do!). Avery isn’t the typical hero and I adored him all the more for it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, this was such a fun read and I can’t wait for Gina’s next book. This was a great combo of contemporary and historical. The modern geek girl tossed into the unknown hoping for the best and falling in love – and not with the man she expected either.

Say Yes to the Duke (House of Brady)

Say Yes to the Duke - Kieran Kramer We once again meet the Sherwood family. Lady Marcia has had her happy ending and Gregory has found the love his life. Janice has been out for two seasons, but has yet to make a match. Could her past be affecting her potential or is it her? Janie is sent off to visit the aging Duchess of Halsey, with hopes of maybe catching the eye of her handsome grandson the Duke?

Janice isn’t prepared for the Halsey household. Lay-about rascals and women who just seem to hang about. The dowager has been tucked away in the far reaches of the estate and isn’t at all what she expected. Flipping between the dowager and an alternate personality of the Queen – Janice isn’t sure at first who she’s speaking with! Both wish Janice to entice the Duke into marriage – but does she really want a marriage without love?

This one of those great giggle/sigh type romance novels that I adore. You have moments where the hero or heroine make you laugh with their antics, or even the villain gets you chuckling with the plot we all know won’t work out. You have that ‘sigh’ moment when the hero realizes what a dumbass he’s been and does everything in his power to move mountains to win his lady love. Who doesn’t love those kinds of books?

Janice isn’t the weak biddable girl who falls in line for the Duke. She stands up to him, especially when it comes to the dowager. Her happy ending takes some work for both her and her hero – but as always it works out in the end!

Would I read more by this author? Oh yes, Kieran is easily one of my favorite authors. I’ve adored her writing since the moment I picked up When Harry Met Molly a few years ago. Would I recommend this author? In a heartbeat! If you love Julia Quinn, Vicky Dreiling – you will adore Kieran’s writing style. I would snap up any of her books without a second thought. I’ve yet to find one I didn’t love.

Original Skin (An Aector McAvoy Novel)

Original Skin - David John Mark Unfortunately didn't enjoy this. :(

Affairs of the Dead

Affairs of the Dead - A.J. Locke Selene is a necromancer and a great one too. She gets the job done, but not always in the most conventional ways. This tends to get her into a bit of trouble at work and demoted to track and retrieval. She doesn’t always make the best choices, but does manage to get things done in the end.

One of the things I liked about Selene was that she’s a spunky, sassy and tough character. She doesn’t put up with any crap from Andrew or Micah – or anyone else for that matter! She looks out for herself, even when she risking her life.

She has a secret – that could ruin her career and potentially end her life. She keeps it close and very few know who she really is. This tough cookie is willing to do anything to protect that secret and will go anywhere to make it happen.

This was a really fun read, I love books about ghosts and the paranormal – and I don’t read them enough! A refreshing change of pace for me with all the historicals I’ve been reading lately. A J has a great writing style that kept me glued from beginning to end. Even though some of Selene choices weren’t my cup of tea, she was a great character!

Always the Baker, Finally the Bride (Emma Rae Creations, #4)

Always the Baker, Finally the Bride (Emma Rae Creations, #4) - Sandra D. Bricker We initially met Emma Rae and Jackson in “Always the Baker, Never the Bride” and got to know them through “Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride”, and “Always the Designer, Never the Bride”. As each story progressed, we got to see more and more of Emma and Jackson’s relationship and success of Tanglewood grow. Now it’s their turn to have a “Happy Ending”.

As the wedding date grows closer, life seems to throw obstacles in their path. An offer to purchase “Tanglewood” throws a rather large wrench in their plans and that of their friends and family. This is greated with both good and bad reactions. It would mean big changes for all of them – and not everyone is happy about that.

I always love re-visiting characters from past books to see what has happened, are they still happy, do they have a family now, etc. It’s one of the things about a series that I love! We get to see inside the inner workings of the hotel, and the planning of Emma’s wedding – and all the stress that goes along with it!

Would I recommend this book? Of course, if you loved the rest of the series then you’ll love the conclusion to the series. It’s a sweet, fun romance that you can’t put down. I’ve always loved Sandra’s writing style and I look forward to more books by her.