Anticipated Arrival: The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare

Anticpated arrivals

Ten years ago, Nicola and the duke wanted nothing to do with each other… and that’s exactly why they got engaged.

What is it?!

The Bride Bet is the fourth book in the Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare. The book, if it goes by the usual ‘side-character who gets their own book’ formula, is potentially the last book in this series.

When is it coming out?!

August 15, 2020.

I know, I know, there is a long time to wait until we get to read the book. Probably even longer if I want to continue how I’ve previously engaged with the books, and listen to it as an audiobook. But still, I am looking forward to reading The Bride Bet.

Why do you want it?!

I really want this book because the character, Nicola, has always intrigued me and left me wanting to know more about this pretty closed off character.

The snippets of story that we got in the third book, The Wallflower Wager, about Nicola seemed really interesting – the revelation that all this time, Nicola had been engaged and her desperate attempts not to be seen by him made me want to know more!

Why does everyone else need it?!

So far Tessa Dare has been a very entertaining and humours read – it is sometimes hard to find the right mix of romance and humour in historical romance books and the third book The Wallflower Wager aside, I have really enjoyed all the characters and their romances.

So not only do I recommend you pick up one of Tessa Dare’s books but I think you should also get excited about the fourth and potentially last book of this great series!


Anticipated arrival comment

Girl Meets Duke Series by Tessa Dare

The Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare has been my introduction to all things Tessa Dare. The historical romance series is also the first time that I have managed to finish and enjoy a fictional audiobook.

I’m really happy to have found this new historical romance author (well new to me 😋) and after listening to the first book in the series, quickly devoured all that I could. So the below quick little reviews are just my comments on the books that make up the Girl Meets Duke series. Enjoy 💌


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 1

The Duchess Deal was my first ever audiobook that I finished and that I loved. The narrator of the audiobook was amazing and really brought the characters to life.

I absolutely loved the story and characters of this romance novel, the romantic lead Ashbury is such a gruff bastard but he was one that I fell in love with – he had the incredibly endearing and humourous trait of only swearing in Shakespearean quotes. Also Emma was such a strong and beautiful character – I was honestly rooting for the pairs happy ending.


The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 2

Once again I fell in love with the characters of this novel. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the amazing, Mary Jane Wells, and once again the whole cast were brought to life through not only this narration but storytelling.

The multiple doll funerals really made me fall in love with, not only the two girls, but Chase himself. The resigned patience and punny eulogies really made the novel and made me see past the libertine archetype that I usually dislike. Also Alexandra was a true treasure as she helped the girls explore and learn as pirates, not to mention her inner strength and Filipino representation!


The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 3

I loved this story – Penny had always been a character from the previous books that had stood out to me and I really enjoyed seeing her story with her romantic lead Gabriel.

Be warned – spoilers ahead

I really loved this story until about three quarters of the way through – the book takes a serious turn with a revelation of childhood sexual assault. This revelation really did sour the book for me – I am not saying that historical romances shouldn’t tackle hard issues but the previous books had been quite lighthearted so this was not what I was expecting.

I’m not saying I hated the book because I didn’t, I’m just saying that I was quite shocked that this content was included. Also the way that the characters in the novel decided to deal with it was, in my opinion, quite hodgepodged and really detracted from the end of the story.


I am really enjoying the Girl Meets Duke series and despite the one hiccup with the third book, I am looking forward to reading about Nicola in the fourth book, The Bride Bet.

Have you read the series? Do you love them or hate them? Do you agree with me about the third book? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

SLRG: Misadventures with a Professor by Sierra Simone

Misadventures with a Professor

by Sierra Simone.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Zandy Lynch never planned on going to grad school a virgin. So when her professor father finds her a job abroad as a research assistant the summer before she starts her master’s program, she sees her chance. She’s got one night in London to lose her V-card to a Mr. Darcy lookalike before she has to join some ancient professor in the country.

Oliver Graeme is not looking forward to having some American co-ed hovering around while he’s trying to work, but he owes her father the favor, and besides, his office is an untidy mess of uncatalogued research. He needs the help. Still, he decides to take the edge off his frustration while visiting a colleague in London, and winds up having the sexiest, sweetest night of his life with a stranger, who vanishes in the morning without a trace…

To Zandy’s shock when she arrives at Professor Graeme’s house a day later, the door isn’t opened by a fussy old scholar, but by the wild, passionate man she met in London. Cold and reserved by day, Oliver is ferociously greedy with her at night, and it’s not long before Zandy finds herself falling for both versions of him—the aloof professor and the generous, rough lover. The trouble is that summer only lasts so long, and Zandy already has a plane ticket waiting to take her home…

****
Misadventures is a romantic series of spicy standalone novels, each written or co-written by some of the best names in romance. The stories are scandalous, refreshing, and, of course, incredibly sexy. They’re the perfect bedside read, a ‘quick blush’ for the reader who loves a page-turning romance.I

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 208 pages.

Series: Misadventures #15

Genre: Romance. Erotica. M/F Romance.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

As I mentioned previously in my TBR Pile post, I have seen the Misadventure books around for a while now but decided to give one a read after reading the blurb of Sierra Simone’s new book, A Lesson in Thorns. Misadventures with a Professor was a great and fun read. The story follows Amanda who is an American visiting England to sort out the library and research materials of her Fathers Professor friend. Enter Oliver, who at the start of the book (spoiler alert) helps Amanda lose her virginity.

The rest of the novel is of how Amanda (or Zandy) and Oliver navigate their relationship and admit to what each other want – not just their kinks but each other. I absolutely loved the little moments where you had the two cultures clash. The absolute horror Oliver had when Amanda made a cup of tea in the microwave was one I loved.


Smut Level

Misadventures with a Professor was very kink friendly. The pair played up the whole Student/Professor role play and the novel also featured a lot of spanking. While there was a backstory of Oliver being kink shamed in a previous relationship, the book is very open with the twos wants and desires.

I enjoyed the book so much, I’ve tracked down the first book of the Misadventure series and if I enjoy that, may give the whole series a read ❤


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SLRG: Waiting for You by Megan Derr

Waiting for You

by Megan Derr.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Shanna has spent her whole life waiting—waiting to be old enough, waiting for the day she must pick a consort, waiting for a chance to finally overcome her despicable stepfather… and waiting for someone to finally banish the loneliness that comes with being a queen-in-waiting one step away from being murdered.

On the eve of the two-week event during which she must pick a consort from a bevy of suitors, two strangers arrive claiming to have been invited—though she knows full well they did not receive any such invitation. But the handsome, mischievous Prince Kallaar is too intriguing to resist, and his quiet bodyguard too compelling to ignore…

But she’s learned the hard way never to let anyone get too close, and on the verge of gaining true independence her stepfather will stop at nothing to see she never gets it.

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 111 pages.

Series: Lifesworn #1

Genre: Romance. Fantasy. M/M/F Romance. Polyamorous Romance.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts

If you’ve been paying attention to my previous posts, I am a big Megan Derr fan. I am also a big fan of the publisher Nine Star Press , so when I saw both combined I knew immediately that I had to read this book.

I was lucky enough that when I requested that my library purchase an eBook copy, I was promptly able to read this wonderful book. (I am currently waiting for approval for the rest of the series to be purchased!) So hopefully it won’t take too long because I am love with the world of Waiting for You!

As always Derr is a master of effortless world building with the politically charged environment surrounding Shanna being presented to us in a quick and easy to grasp manner. In no time at all I was rooting for all three of the characters and found myself so thoroughly engaged in the emotional story between Shanna, Kallaar, and Ahmla.

Also honestly, who could read Waiting for You and not fall in love with Kallaar?


Smut Level

As you can tell from my above thoughts on the book and the fact that the book is a polyamorous romance novel, Waiting for You does indeed feature scenes between all three characters. While not the smuttiest book out there, the action between the three characters is not only incredibly sexually charged but it is emotional.

The scenes do play out at moments of emotional revelations and there is no sexual shame felt between the three as they explore themselves and their new relationship. Shanna is quite open in her imaginings and desire for more than one partner throughout the novel.

So pretty much loved the book everything about this book ❤❤❤


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SLRG: Luck is No Lady by Amy Sandas

luckisnolady
Luck is No Lady

by Amy Sandas.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Gently bred Emma Chadwick always assumed she’d live and die the daughter of a gentleman. But when her father’s death reveals a world of staggering debt and dangerous moneylenders, she must risk her good name and put her talent for mathematics to use, taking a position as bookkeeper at London’s most notorious gambling hell. Surrounded by vice and corruption on all sides, it is imperative no one discovers Emma’s shameful secret or her reputation-and her life-will be ruined.

But Roderick Bentley, the hell’s sinfully wealthy owner, awakens a hunger Emma cannot deny. Drawn deep into an underworld of high stakes gambling and reckless overindulgence, she soon discovers that in order to win the love of a ruthless scoundrel, she will have to play the game…and give in to the pleasure of falling from grace.

Length: 382 pages.

Series: Fallen Ladies #1.

Genre: Romance. Historical.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Emma, is quite intelligent and was allowed to demonstrate this in an easy and respectful way. The romantic lead, Roderick, had a very accepting and almost nonchalant attitude towards Emma and her ‘scandalous’ behaviour.

The book is part of a trilogy that follows Emma’s two sisters, however I don’t think I will read these as the blurbs and characters didn’t grab my attention. Luck is No Lady was a sweet and smile inducing novel, I would really recommend this book for anyone looking for a good regency read.


Smut Level

Decent. I really liked the back and forth between these characters and the physical scenes were very focused on Emma.


Are there any romance novels that you love to read? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you 🙂

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Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson

Lord of the Last Heartbeat

by May Peterson.

|| Publisher || Goodreads || || Amazon || Kobo ||

Stop me. Please.

Three words scrawled in bloodred wine. A note furtively passed into the hand of a handsome stranger. Only death can free Mio from his mother’s political schemes. He’s put his trust in the enigmatic Rhodry—an immortal moon soul with the power of the bear spirit—to put an end to it all.

But Rhodry cannot bring himself to kill Mio, whose spellbinding voice has the power to expose secrets from the darkest recesses of the heart and mind. Nor can he deny his attraction to the fair young sorcerer. So he spirits Mio away to his home, the only place he can keep him safe—if the curse that besieges the estate doesn’t destroy them both first.

In a world teeming with mages, ghosts and dark secrets, love blooms between the unlikely pair. But if they are to be strong enough to overcome the evil that draws ever nearer, Mio and Rhodry must first accept a happiness neither ever expected to find.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 2 September, 2019.

Length: 351 pages.

Series: The Sacred Dark #1.

Genre: Fantasy. Romance. QUILTBAG.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Lord of the Last Heartbeat is a detailed fantasy story focused around Mio, a sorcerer whose power lies in his voice. When pushed to his limits by his power hungry mother, Mio escapes to the first place they would look, but the one he would be safest – the house of Rhodry, a cursed Moon Soul.

Focusing on Mio and Rhodry the story follows of the pair as they fight their attraction to each other and the mysterious force at work within the house. Expect twists and turns as the intricately weaved love story of Lord of the Last Heartbeat takes you on a journey filled with mystery and magic.


Continue reading “Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson”

Book Bingo Update 7

Goodreads RECOMMENDATION

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill

I am pretty sure (read 100% sure) that Goodreads recommended Aquicorn Cove to me because I have just finished reading The Tea Dragon Society. I have also previously read Katie O’Neill’s book Princess Princess Ever After for this very Book Bingo.

Continue reading “Book Bingo Update 7”

Smut Lovers Reading Group: Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle

Run to Ground

by Katie Ruggle.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: He lost his mentor.
He lost his K9 partner.
He almost lost his will to live.
But when a ruthless killer targets a woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to survive—and save the woman neither can live without.


Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.

Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.

When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…

And this time, there’s no escape.

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 416 pages.

Series: Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit #1

Genre: Romance. Romantic Suspense. M/F Romance.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

I have wanted to read a Katie Ruggle book for a while now. If you’re new to the blog you may not be aware of how much I adore Ruggle’s pen name Katie Allen. Ruggle has an almost different style, the Allen books are more light hearted with their romances but I found with Run to Ground the book was more intense. Less lighthearted with the romance between the two main characters and more focused on the suspenseful and action packed plot.

Continue reading “Smut Lovers Reading Group: Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle”

Bet Me to Stay by Candace Havens

Bet Me to Stay

by Candace Havens.

|| Publisher || Goodreads || Amazon ||

Blurb:  After a bet with his brother, Liam O’Connor has to date the next woman who walks into the pub. And he’s all in, because his pub is on the line. What he didn’t expect was Cassie Meadows, who at first glance with her big glasses and bulky sweater looks like a woman who has many, many cats—but her wit and smile make him wonder what’s underneath her bulky armor.

Cassie Meadows aka sweet romance author Cassie O’Brian is about to lose everything. As in, her writing career is going down the drain because she can’t write the sexy stuff that’s selling these days. She needs inspiration in the worst way. That’s when she walks into the wrong pub at the right time. Sexy owner Liam is just what the writing doctor ordered. Her whole body is feeling inspired—and when he makes a proposal she can’t refuse—she’s all in. Oh, hell yes. Best. Sex. Of. Her. Life. Thanks to Liam, she’s about to write a best-seller.

But having an erotic romance alter ego is nothing compared to the real secret Cassie is hiding—and that one could destroy everything.

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 8 July, 2019.

Length: 193 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Romance. Erotica.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Bet Me to Stay is quick and sexy read that has the two main characters enter into a physical relationship on the prompting of a bet. Liam, who is sick of his brother falling in and out of love and engagements, bets that his brother can’t stay away from the ladies for a month. The trade off is that Liam must date the first woman to walk through the door.

Enter Cassie.

What sets Bet Me to Stay apart from other romance novels that feature ‘the bet’ trope is that Cassie is looking for inspiration to write better erotic scenes for her novel, and has been told by her friend/agent to find a one night stand to help. Both enter into a physical relationship wanting something from the other, which for me, really evened out the power imbalance and angst you sometimes find with this trope.

Continue reading “Bet Me to Stay by Candace Havens”

How to Best a Marquess by Tina Gabrielle

How to Best a Marquess

by Tina Gabrielle.

|| Publisher || Goodreads ||

|| Book Depository || Amazon || Kobo ||

Blurb: Lady Ellie Swift learned at an early age that men were more trouble than they’re worth. Now she’s all grown up and is the toast of society. Only she has secret ambitions to run her brother’s infamous gambling establishment—the Raven Club. Everything is progressing as planned until the man who broke her heart, Hugh Vere, the Marquess of Deveril, wants to take over the club. Dark, dominant, and strikingly handsome, Hugh’s reputation for sin precedes him, and suddenly, her dreams—and her heart—are in jeopardy. 

As rakish as Hugh appears, he has a sharp mind for business. No one stands in the way of what he wants, not even the fiery-haired beauty from his past. From the moment he sees her again sparks fly, but he knows better than to fall for the lady. According to Ellie, the battle lines have been drawn and Hugh doesn’t stand a chance. But the nearly combustible chemistry between them is hard to ignore, and soon the club is not the only prize he wants….

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 10 June, 2019.

Length: 200 pages.

Series: The Raven Club #2.

Genre: Romance. Historical.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

How to Best a Marquess is a beautiful story of second chances at love and acceptance. Ellie and Hugh have a romantic history which ended in heartbreak at the discretion of one character. The novel sees the pair reunited as they battle for the chance to win the casino, the Raven Club.

Continue reading “How to Best a Marquess by Tina Gabrielle”